Jean-Marie Straub and Daniéle Huillet at Work on a film based on Franz Kafka's "Amerika"

This film is at once a self-portrait and an homage to Jean-Marie Straub, Farocki's role model and former teacher at the Film Academy. Farocki's admiration for Straub was so great that he said of Between Two Wars: "Perhaps I only made this film to earn Straub's recognition."

In this observation-driven film Farocki documents the fulfillment of his wish.The film shows Farocki, under Straub's direction, rehearsing for his role as Delamarche in the film Klassenverhältnisse (1983). Anyone who has seen Farocki's documentary of the shoot will never forget these short scenes.The directing technique of Jean-Marie Straub and his wife Daniele Huillet is so repetitive and detail-obsessed that the performers are made to rehearse the scenes to the point of exhaustion.

Straub manages his actors like a theater director.The very fact that it is unusual among filmmakers makes it well worth having captured Straub's working methods on film. Farocki filmed a work of resistance against traditional cinema, against which his own films rebel.

(Tilman Baumgärtel)

Original title Jean-Marie Straub und Daniéle Huillet bei der Arbeit an einem Film nach Franz Kafkas Romanfragment Amerika Director, scriptwriter, commentary Harun Farocki Collaboration Karl-Heinz Wegmann Cinematographer Ingo Kratisch Editor Rosa Mercedes Sound Klaus Klingler Production Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Berlin-West, WDR, Cologne, Large Door, London TV-producer Helmut Merker  Format 16mm, col., 1:1,37 Length 26 min. First broadcast 13.11.1983, ARD Note commissioned for the TV series Schaukasten, Bilder und Berichte vom Kino