The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
(Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach)
Gustav Leonhardt, Christiane Lang-Drewanz,
Possibly the only film about Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated to the Viet Cong, Straub-Huillet’s labor of love, which took years to fund and create, embodies their approach to cinema, adaptation, and politics. Loosely based on correspondence between Bach and his second wife, Chronicle has little interest in typical biography or narrative; rather, its focus is on the music itself, and the act of creation and performance. The cast (musicians all) was recorded live; as a result, “it is possible for those who love Bach’s music to immerse themselves in its glories without distraction” (Albert Johnson). Not a film about music, this is a film of music.