WEST GERMANY, 35MM, 1.37:1, COLOR, 42’
[Pre-credits: two sculptures by Ernst Barlach:
Mutter Erde (Mother Earth) and Der Rächer
(The Avenger); opening credits, black text on
white, in German]
– Schwarze Sünde
– Film by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
– Assistants: Francesco Ragusa, Michael Esser, Hans Hurch
– Leo Mingrone, Arnold Schmidt, Roberto Palì
– Camera: William Lubtchansky
– Christophe Pollock, Gianni Canfarelli
– Sound: Louis Hochet
– Alessandro Zanon, Pierre Donnadieu
– Text by Friedrich Hölderlin (Verlag Roter Stern)
[End credits, black text on white]
– Empedocles: Andreas von Rauch
– Pausanias: Vladimir Theye [= Vladimir Baratta]
– Manes: Howard Vernon
– Production: Straub-Huillet with Dominique Païni
– Processed and Printed: Luciano Vittori, Color Timing: Sergio Lustri
– Mother Earth and The Avenger were filmed in the Ernst Barlach House by Helmut Herbst
– “Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß” was recorded in London in 1935 with Adolf Busch, Gösta Andreasson, Karl Doktor, Hermann Busch Danièle Huillet’s role at the end of the film is uncredited.
TEXT: from the third version (1799) of Der Tod des Empedokles, established with D. E. Sattler. MUSIC: Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet No. 16 in F major, opus 135, “Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß”.
PRODUCTION DATES AND LOCATIONS: late July and August, 1988, three weeks on Mt. Etna (altitude: 1900 m.).
BUDGET: 300,000 DM. There are also 4 versions of this film. The second was SUBTITLED IN FRENCH by Huillet and IN ITALIAN by Huillet and Domenico Carosso.
FIRST SCREENING: 1989 Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard (May).