Over a career that spanned more than 20 films, French experimental filmmaker Danièle Huillet, who died in October 2006, defined a new cinematic language.
These two films, created with her longtime partner, Jean-Marie Straub, celebrate her life. Not Reconciled, the pair’s first feature, is based on Nobel Prize–winner Heinrich Böll’s novel Billiards at Half-Past Nine, which examines the effects of National Socialism on three generations of a German family. By condensing and rearranging the text and conceptualizing it in the theatrical style of Bertolt Brecht, the filmmakers criticize Böll’s thesis on the inevitability of the Nazis’ rise to power. The directors had to flee Germany and hide their film from Böll’s publishing house, which had obtained a court order to destroy the print. Years later, after the film was acknowledged as one the most important works of new German cinema and its directors were placed in the modern cinema canon with Dreyer and Bresson, Böll sent a note of apology. 1965, Germany, in German with English subtitles, 35mm, 51 minutes.
En rachâchant is a comic tale based on Marguerite Duras’ story Ah! Ernesto, about a young boy who refuses to go to school because they only teach him things he doesn’t know. 1982, France, in French with English subtitles, 35mm, 9 minutes.