Last Friday saw the culmination of a year and a half long wait as Boris Lehman's BABEL- Lettre à mes amis restés en Belgique finally arrived on my doorstep.  As agonizing as the wait may have been, it was no doubt worth it as Re:Voir has put together an exquisite treasure-filled box set for the film.  Included are the following: a large booklet containing texts and images from the film as well as various essays on the work (in French only unfortunately), a large map retracing Boris' journey and three DVD's housed in two cases containing the 380 minute film... 


As for the film itself, substantial thoughts will come in the future as time is still needed to absorb its six plus hours, but suffice it to say it is an extremely warm, genuinely humble and humorous journey of intersecting lives and personalities, all filtered through Boris' self-effacing and restless personae.  It's an extremely somatic affair, constant focus is placed on the hands/feet and functions of the body (eye exams, physicals, dentist and countless meals) and the way that time and space affect these processes... 

In the meantime in lieu of further ruminations I include these many images from the film itself, because as Boris says:



The sincerest of thanks should go to Lehman, Yellow Now and all those involved in the production of this DVD, especially Pip Chodorov and Re:Voir, whose efforts to release experimental works is absolutely invaluable.  It should be noted that BABEL has turned into something of a life-long work, and as such Lettre à mes amis restés en Belgique is only the first part.  Lehman has so far completed several other parts, and perhaps not by coincidence the latest STORY OF MY HAIR/On the Shortness of Life is screening at the Microscope Gallery in New York on Thursday.  Lehman usually accompanies most screenings of his films, so for those that are able to I can't recommend attending highly enough...