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3.8
97 Ratings

History Lessons

Geschichtsunterricht

West Germany, 1972
Avant-Garde

Synopsis

Set in contemporary Rome, the film shows through a series of encounters with “ancient” Romans, how the economic and political manipulation by ancient Roman society led to Caesar’s dictatorship.

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History Lessons Directed by Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub

Critics reviews

In effect, the film is almost a monologue, testimony, it’s difficult to say what exactly it is. What is, however, easy to note is that, once more, emphasis is placed on sound, on speech. You can black out the image and you might even get more out of the “film”. What is important in both [History Lessons and The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach] is not what is shown, but what is heard.
July 11, 2017
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…These adjacent scenes typify each dimension of History Lessons’ sui generis dual form. Through this dual form, the film not only models a notion of cinema that propels the viewer into action, that instructs rather than enthralls, but also presents a visible reality upon which the viewer’s newly critical gaze, one that takes perceptions for signs, and investigates their causes, might be tested.
March 07, 2017
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When I first saw History Lessons, I hadn’t even heard of the Brecht novel, and what I knew of Roman history I had learned in high school. Nevertheless I was gripped.
May 03, 2016

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