The Language of Revolution. Examples of a Revolutionary Rhetoric, examined by Hans Christoph Buch

The program is a kind of filmic essay about the language of revolution. The examples it uses are taken from speeches by the leaders of the French Revolution Danton and St. Just (in Georg Büchner's drama Dantons Death), by Fidel Castro and Malcolm X, by Lenin and Rudi Dutschke.

The narration is partly spoken by the author himself and attempts to place each speech (its vocabulary, rhetorical gesture and political aspiration) within the appropriate historical and socio-political context. A few short scenes are intended to make definable qualities of the language of revolution become apparent ("On development aid", "On borrowing strange costumes", "On provoking").

At the end of the film, Hans Christoph Buch sums up: "To be able to assess a speech or a text, one has to ask: Who is speaking? Who are the audience? When and where did they live? To which class do they belong? What is the audience's situation? Does the speech they are hearing help them in any way? Does it restore speech to the dumb? Does it make the blind man see?"

(Production note)

Original title Die Sprache der Revolution. Beispiele revolutionärer Rhetorik, untersucht von Hans Christoph Buch Director Harun Farocki Scriptwriter Hans Christoph Buch Cinematographer Bernd Maus, Joachim Pritzel Sound Christian Praszer Editor Ulla Agne, Claudia Karsunke Production WDR, Cologne Executive producer Volker Dieckmann Format 16mm, b/w, 1:1,37 Length 45 min. First broadcast 30.10.72, Nord 3