‘There was a group of people arranged in a semicircle on a hill, on the lawn of the Père Lachaise cemetery, north of Paris, where there are the great memorials of the concentration camps: Ravensbrück, Auschwitz... it is in the corner of the cemetery where you can guess something about the city. Under this hill are buried the last members of the Paris Commune, who were shot in that same place. In the film they are sitting in a semicircle. A semicircle like in the hemicycle of the Greek theatre’ (Straub).
Titled after a line by French historian Jules Michelet about the Commune, the Toute révolution est un coup de dés
is a collective recitation of Stéphane Mallarmé’s typographical poem ‘A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance', shot in front of the Communards’ wall.
is the third part of Straub and Huillet’s Jewish trilogy after Introduction
… and Moses and Aaron
. It is their first film shot in the Italian language and is based on Franco Fortini’s book The Dogs of Sinai
(1967), a reflection on politics, identity, and truthfulness in the period after the Six Day War of 1967. Fortini, a Jewish communist and a major figure in postwar Italian intellectual life, reflects on his own identity as a Jew and a communist, and about the birth of fascism and the increasing anti-Arabic influence in Europe. Straub and Huillet film Fortini reading from his own text together with images of landscapes shot in the Apuan Alps, where years earlier atrocities against the partisans had been committed by the Nazis.
Toute révolution est un coup de dés
, Every Revolution is a Throw of the Dice
, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, France, 1977, 35mm on DCP, colour, 10 min., in French with English subtitles.
, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, Italy/France, 1976, 16mm on DCP, colour, 83 min., in Italian with English subtitles.
Presented as part of The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet