The making of cinema

Arbeiten zu Klassenverhältnisse

Travaux sur Rapports de classes

Harun Farocki

1983Germany65 minColour

Harun Farocki films Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet «at work» during the shooting of Klassenverhältnisse (Class Relations), a film based on Kafka’s unfinished novel, Amerika, in which Farocki himself plays the character, Delamarche. The film is both a tribute to the work of the two filmmakers, who define themselves as “artisans” in reaction against the film industry, and as he says, a self-portrait: at work, directed by the couple, he endlessly repeats his gestures and lines, like a worker up to the point of exhaustion. “

At the time, the Straubs lived at my house. They were doing research here because they wanted to shoot Class Relations (Klassenverhältnisse) in Berlin. At first, we hunted for locations, looked for places to film, etc. They began to do some tests and we decided that I could also help out by playing the role of Delamarche in the film. As I had to learn all the lines and be present at the film tests, I asked a television channel if a film on the Straubs would interest them. At the time, you could make short films on arthouse productions, today it would be impossible, I’m sure. So I decided to film the rehearsals and later the shooting in Hamburg, but only a few small bits to compare, to see the differences between the preparatory studies and the actual shoot”. 
–Harun Farocki (interviewed by Alice Malinge, 201 review, november 2008)

  • PRODUCTION : Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Large Door (London), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Köln