Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

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'A film about the past which is lucid can help people of the present to achieve that necessary lucidity.' Straub's account of Bach is nothing if not lucid: it documents the last 27 years of its subject's life (through the mediating eyes of his wife) principally in terms of his music. The music itself obviates any need for a 'drama' to present Bach; Straub celebrates its range and complexity while showing it always in performance, to emphasise the nature of Bach's work as musician/conductor. A narration (compiled from contemporary sources) sets the man in his economic and social context. With his minimalist's sensitivity to nuance and inflection, Straub eschews pointless cutting and camera movement. The beautiful result has the air of a crystal-clear meditation.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jean-Marie Straub
Screenwriter: Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
Cast: Ernst Castelli
Joachim Wolf
Gustav Leonhardt
Christiane Lang
Hans-Peter Boye
Paolo Carlini
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