Chantal Akerman is widely acclaimed as one of the most original and important directors working in Europe today. A towering figure in women's and feminist film-making, she has produced a diverse and intensely personal body of work ranging from minimalist portraits of the everyday to exuberant romantic comedies, and from documentaries and musicals to installation art. This book traces the director's career at the crossroads between experimental and mainstream cinema, contextualising her work within the American avant-garde of the 1970s, European anti-naturalism, feminism and the post-modern aesthetics. While offering an in-depth analysis of her multi-faceted film style, it also stresses the social and ethical dimension of her work, especially as regards her representation of marginal groups and her exploration of exilic and diasporic identities. Particular attention is given to the inscription of the Holocaust and of Jewish memory in her films.