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A Straub-Huillet Retrospective
677 Ratings


Die Antigone des Sophokles nach der Hölderlinschen Übertragung für die Bühne bearbeitet von Brecht 1948

Germany, France, 1992
A Straub-Huillet Retrospective


A fearless Antigone, refusing to allow the dishonored body of her murdered brother Polynices to be devoured by vultures and dogs, defies the Thebian tyrant Creon by burying him. In punishment Creon orders Oedipus’s rebellious daughter to be entombed alive, lest she sow insurrection among the people.

Our take

We proudly resume our large retrospective of Straub and Huillet with a new restoration of one of their most accessible and fierce dramas. Serving as a remarkable conduit from Sophocles’ ancient era to the present, Antigone offers a bracingly fresh vision of female power confronting the patriarchy.

Critics reviews

The transparency of the Straubs’ methodology has a revelatory quality; they maintain the integrity of each sound and each image with a Lumière-like meticulousness, kept in characteristic isolation from each other section, but also charge them with the electricity of deep-rooted and dramatic historical significance.
May 06, 2020
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What are people saying?

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Antigone

    A great take on a classic... Straub-Huillet are quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers!

  • Spiritchaser's rating of the film Antigone

    If the characters are "talking heads", they are precisely so because our bodies are the vehicles of history. We do not speak but it is the voice of the past which speaks through us; what is buried underneath rises up and erupts through individuals. Straub's cinema relates the materiality of bodies and ideality of texts as flows - of texts rising up to the level of bodies, of bodies recycled back into texts.

  • tidal waif's rating of the film Antigone

    3,5 Y.Kawabata altered my pink photoperception – color of dust, of infiltrated streets and for-wheeled celerity, the breath of gutted resurrecting precincts and shabby, pungent cabdriver clothes, and only secondly of flesh or of the plantar arch transformed by blood’s quiet fluvial angling. Similarly, Straubs made me rethink film with their diorama-style dispositions, where movement seems so warily ostracized toward

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Antigone

    De-dramatization to the point of stasis is counter-balanced by the text's richness, which in Hölderlin seems to revolve, among other things, to the chthonic relation of humans to the ground of Being. This openness to (political) truth is visualized in Huillet/Straub's luminously sparse setting with superb close-ups and medium long shots of Antigone. The Brechtean epilogue adds a chillingly radical twist to the play.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Antigone

    Setting the work within the ruins of an amphitheater does two things. Firstly: connects the film to history; to the landscape as it once existed, now out of time. Secondly: reminds us that this is an adaption of a play. As such, the setting & its state of ruin reflect the duel influences of Sophocles (tragedy) & Brecht (deconstruction), as well as conveying the filmmakers' rigorous adherence to the text& its staging.

  • Jason's rating of the film Antigone

    Der tragische Geist. Straub-Huillet arrive at a version of Sophocles' play that passes through Hölderlin & Brecht. Though he didn't play especially well w/ others, I think we can insist it passes through Nietzsche too. Nietzsche would have taken from Hölderlin the raw materials for a fraught amor fati, whereas Brecht will opt for the eternal insurrectionary return. The camera accentuates the pure (Sicilian) eternal.

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Antigone

    (3&1/2 stars) I found the Bertolt Brecht adaptation (translated into English subs) enjoyable in its language and post-war political finger-wagging. Odd that he credited Holderlin since it doesn't appear to follow his renowned philological poetics, or his curious mystical bent, but perhaps that's merely a genteel nod to one from

  • Traum Baum's rating of the film Antigone

    Despite the minimalist and raw structure, what the Straubs do here, or at least aim for, is "radical" reconfiguration of cinematic space and its perception: filming the characters from a single point of view that simulates the position of the spectator in the theater, they seek to break free not only from photographic framing, but also from theatrical staging in cinema. Not sure if it works tho, given the medium.

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