Opening Night - Programme 2
Communists is a compilation of sequences from Straub and Huillet’s previous films, concerning resistance to forms of violence and oppression.
In the short film The Algerian War!
, intended as a prologue to Communists
, Straub reflects on his own refusal to fight in the Algerian war in the 1950s, via a story written by psychoanalyst Jean Sandretto about a man, who having fought in war, is confronted by a ghost of his past.
is a compilation bringing together a newly shot segment with sequences chosen from previous films by Straub and Huillet. It takes up one of the main thematic threads that runs across their films—‘the forms of domination and violence of man on man’ as well as the forms of resisting them: from the Communist prisoners defying their Fascist interrogators, Italian partisans fighting against the Nazi occupation to the anti-colonial opposition and class struggle in Egypt. ‘It was done on an impulse’, Straub said, and it is made of six blocks organised like musical movements. The first sequence is based on André Malraux’s novel Days of Wrath written in 1936, about a Communist writer named Kessner, who escapes a concentration camp and must live with the terror of its memory. This is followed by other blocks selected from films Straub and Huillet made based on the texts of Elio Vittorini, Franco Fortini and Friedrich Hölderlin: The hope (Workers, Peasants,
2001); The people (Too Early/Too Late,
1981); The Apuan Alps (Fortini/Cani,
1976); The communist utopia (The Death of Empedocles,
1987); New World (Black Sin,
This screening includes the UK premiere of Jean-Marie Straub’s most recent film, People of the Lake
, based on an excerpt from a novel by Swiss writer Janine Massard in which a man remembers his youth as member of a fishing family on the Lake Geneva Vaudoise coast, the traffic on the lake during the Second World War and the political upheavals in its immediate aftermath.
Introduced by Barbara Ulrich, Philosopher and collaborator of Jean-Marie Straub.
La Guerre d'Algérie!
, The Algerian War!, Dir: Jean-Marie Straub, France/Switzerland, 2014, HD, colour, 2 mins., French with English subtitles.
, Communists, Dir: Jean-Marie Straub, Switzerland/France, 2014, HD, colour, 70 mins., in French, English and Italian with English subtitles.
Gens du Lac
, People of the Lake, Dir: Jean-Marie Straub, Switzerland, 2018, HD, colour, 19 mins., in French with English subtitles.
Presented as part of The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet