Material evidence, or: our hoarsened voice


--Fury, Fritz Lang, 1936.

A great political film would not give us statistics, but figures instead. In Fury there are figures: how many people have been lynched per week for such and such a length of time. In Trop tôt, trop tard we included figures: a third of the population of such and such village is unable to survive...

--Jean-Marie Straub, in conversation with François Albera & Danièle Huillet, Sickle and Hammer, Cannons, Cannons, Dynamite!, 2001, published in the 2004 Straub-Huillet Viennale & Filmmuseum retrospective catalogue, p.43.

And yet we knew:
Even the hatred of squalor
Distorts one’s features.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow hoarse. We
Who wished to lay the foundation for gentleness
Could not ourselves be gentle.

But you, when at last the time comes
That man can aid his fellow man,
Should think upon us
With leniency.

--Bertolt Brecht, An die Nachgeborenen / To Those Who Follow in Our Wake, 1939.

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