THE DEATH OF EMPEDOCLES

A film by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
1982, 132 minutes
No. 132
Narrative


THE DEATH OF EMPEDOCLES
$750.00
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ONLY FOR 35MM RENTAL.

Description
The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Empedocles possessed magical healing powers through his communion with the gods and nature. He inspired awe and trust in the people by prophesizing a vision of a new Earth, a communist utopia, before committing a noble suicide.

However, at the start of Straub-Huillet’s mesmerizing film — an adaptation of the first version of Hölderlin’s tragic poem, written during the outbreak of the French Revolution — Empedocles is at the point of death.

An enemy of the priestly state, he is cast into darkness, suffering the torments of loneliness and doubt, but finds renewed strength, even immortality, through the will of the people.

Reviews
"One of their most beautiful works. In its remarkable use of German verse accompanied by the sounds of nature, the film resembles oratorio more than drama, but the physical experience of this combination of spoken text and location shooting is powerful and intoxicating." - Jonathan Rosenbaum

Subjects