News from Home

News from Home

News from Home isn't a film about loneliness; it's a film of loneliness. Akerman creates a city symphony, like The Man with a Movie Camera or Berlin: Symphony of a Great City or the later Do the Right Thing. However, unlike Vertov, Ruttman, and Lee, Akerman creates a portrait of Manhattan (the Lower East Side and the East Village, for the most part, if I'm not mistaken), on a personal scale, rather than a populist one. The city, as we see it in News from Home, is a portrait of Akerman's life at the moment, drawn in side streets, subway cars, and fire escapes, and colored by her mother's words. New York is lonely and distant. The last shot shows Manhattan receding in a field of waves and fog, mirroring the feeling of the previous 80 or so minutes, that John Donne was wrong: everything and everyone is an island.