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West Germany / France, 1984 (MIFF 1986)

Director: Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet

A surprise for Straub/Huillet devotees. Whilst maintaining their concern with a formal approach to the medium. complemented with the minimalist beauty that often results from such a discipline, their latest film is surprisingly straightforward in its delivery.

An adaptation of Kafka's AMERICA. the film is a rigorous rereading while remaining faithful to the novel. Kafka wanted his last novel to be called THE MAN WHO DISAPPEARED but the title chosen by the filmmakers is symptomatic of their approach. Dispensing with discourses constructed around the emotional susceptibilities of the viewer. the resulting film is a political iourney through Kafka's keen sense of social observation, rather than the familiar anguish.

For this film their almost cinema-verite approach calls on the viewer's imagination to work alongside their own. CLASS RELATIONS is a further testament to the directors' commitment to radical, political cinema. scrutinising the cinema in order to enrich it.

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© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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