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West Germany / France, 1984 (MIFF 2011, MIFF 60th Retrospective)

Director: Jean-Marie Straub, Daniele Huillet


The existential dilemma of Kafka's Amerika re-imagined as an insight into class struggle.

The dark and poetic visions of Czech writer and unlikely national hero Franz Kafka have often lent themselves to screen adaptations, but filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's take on Amerika remains one of the most faithful to Kafka's frustrating existential battle.

Moving away from the turmoil of an individual oppressed by a faceless authority, Class Relations (MIFF 1986) seamlessly shifts the paranoia and overbearing bureaucracy to the realm of class struggle, where capitalism quashes all that comes up against it. Perfectly capturing the sense of hopelessness and lack of freedom that Kafka's works ooze, Class Relations won multiple awards upon its release in the early 80s.

Straub's An Heir also screens as part of the Jeonju Digital Project 2011.

D Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet P Klaus Hellwig S Franz Kafka WS New Yorker Films L German w/English subtitles TD 35mm/1984

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