Arlecchino Cinema > 16:30


Chantal Akerman
Introduced by

Tomas Leyers (Cinematek)


Film Notes

In her last major cinema role, Delphine Seyrig joined forces again with Chantal Akerman, a few years after Jeanne Dielman, in which she played a meticulous housewife. Golden Eighties, a burlesque musical comedy, tender and frantic, once again dresses the flamboyant actress and militant feminist in the garb of the petit bourgeoisie for the role of Jeanne Schwartz, a shopkeeper in Brussels’ Galerie de la Toison d’Or shopping centre. Outwardly conformist in her Peter Pan-collared black dress, Jeanne stands out as one of the most political of the galaxy of Akerman heroines. An attractive, middle-aged woman, who owns a clothes shop, she becomes the main focus of this film in matters of love and commerce, well before the advent of the economic crisis. As confidante to the whole shopping centre, she is the high priestess of serenity and goodness. However, her sweet nature conceals the immense trauma of the Second World War and the silence of a Holocaust survivor. Broken by her experiences in the camps, her inability to speak about it echoes the silence of the filmmaker’s mother, another survivor of the great tragedy of the 20th century. Thus, happiness becomes for Jeanne a political duty, her only defence against barbarism. The world, such as it is, with its toing and froing and its thwarted desires, rests on the dependability and favour of this fairy godmother of hope. Not a single regret lingers as though she were bowing out of francophone cinema while spreading promise for the future.

Gabriela Trujillo

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Chantal Akerman, Jean Gruault, Leora Barish, Henry Bean, Pascal Bonitzer. F.: Gilberto Azevedo, Luc Benhamou. M.: Francine Sandberg. Scgf.: Serge Marzolff. Mus.: Marc Herouet. Int.: Myriam Boyer (Sylvie), John Berry (Eli), Delphine Seyrig (Jeanne Schwartz), Nicolas Tronc (Robert), Lio (Mado), Pascale Salkin (Pascale), Fanny Cottençon (Lili), Charles Denner (signor Schwartz). Prod.: La Cécilia, Paradise Films, Limbo Film AG. DCP.