Christian Heinisch, Reinald Schnell, Mario Adorf, Harun Farocki,
Straub-Huillet’s brilliant distillation of Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel Amerika is perhaps the most authentically German treatment of Kafka ever made. An ecstatic and haunted fever dream of the United States—the place where Kafka longed to disappear, if only in his imagination—Amerika is told from the perspective of a young German immigrant who encounters a strange new world, with its violent lies and quixotic optimism, like a modern-day Parsifal.
Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet at Work on a Film Based on Franz Kafka's Amerika
(Jean-Marie Straub und Daniéle Huillet bei der Arbeit an einem Film nach Franz Kafkas Romanfragment Amerika)
Harun Farocki, West Germany, 1983
Critic/ filmmaker (and former UC Berkeley professor) Harun Farocki, who appears in Straub-Huillet’s Class Relations, shot this eye-opening look at the duo behind the scenes.