Two of cinema's most uncompromising auteurs, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, create a bold and beautiful adaptation of Elio Vittorini's masterwork, Conversations in Sicily. Published in 1939, and a bestseller until it was banned in 1942, the novel narrates the return of an intellectual to his native Sicily after a long absence. The film is structured as a series of dialogue encounters-with strangers in a port, fellow passengers on a train, the protagonist's mother-each of which conceals more than it reveals, emphasizing the distance between what can be seen and felt and what can be expressed. Moving beyond the original's immediate context-the increasing oppression of prewar Italy-Straub and Huillet offer a moving look at the state of permanent exile common to all of those who can't go home again.

Presented in memory of Danièle Huillet, who passed away in 2006.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.