‘A young man meets a banker, a peasant, a lawyer, and a writer who lived through Julius Caesar's arrival to power — and a city that has survived it... The film tells the original relations between commerce, democracy, capitalism and imperialism.’ (J.-M. Straub)
The film adapts a small section of Brecht’s unfinished Roman novel and is constructed in two movements: in the first part, long takes of contemporary Rome shot from a moving car offer a reflection about the city and its historical and social development (‘To understand the street, you must see the street!’, said Straub). In the second part, a young German researcher engages in a series of dialogues set in the past, in Ancient Rome, about the economic affairs and political opportunism that brought Julius Caesar to power. History Lessons
is a sharp criticism of greed and capitalism, and a film that speaks greatly to our present time.
The screening will be introduced by Martin Brady, Reader in German and Film Studies at King's College London.
, History Lessons
, Italy / West Germany, 1972, 16mm on DCP, colour, 85 min.
Presented as part of The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet