Too Early / Too Late
(Trop tôt / trop tard)
Inspired by a letter by Friedrich Engels and a 1974 account of two militant Marxist writers who had been imprisoned by the Nasser regime, Straub-Huillet filmed Too Early, Too Late in France and Egypt during 1980. They reflect on Egypt’s history of peasant struggle and liberation from Western colonization, and link it to class tensions in France shortly before the Revolution of 1789, quoting texts by Engels as well as the pioneering nonfiction film Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895). The film was a major influence on contemporary filmmakers like Harun Farocki, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucci, and John Gianvito.