Die Klage der Kaiserin

Wednesday, 28 November

Die Klage der Kaiserin

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(The Complaint of the Empress)
Directed by Pina Bausch
106 minutes
Very little dialogue, with English subtitles

Well I guess we all know that the great choreographer Pina Bausch died in June 2009. And of course the cinemas soon bombarded us with Wim Wenders's 3-D film which got a lot of attention. Personally I was a bit put-off by this turn of events. The later movies of Wim Wenders are often messy and unfocused. He lost most of his style long ago. But the most amazing thing for me was that this trite film by Wenders got so much acclaim, when in fact the real movie, the movie that Pina made herself, Die Klage der Kaiserin, is never screened at all. Even many dancers have no idea of its existence, and have never had the opportunity to see a good copy of this visionary work.

How to describe such an unusual film? The film's title seems elitist, and of course it's a bit of a provocation. The film is a furious dance portrait composed of women, men, children... and also, of course, passion. The dance takes an unusual trajectory through the city and the landscape around Wuppertal, where the choreographer Pina Bausch lived and worked for almost forty years. Throughout the entire film, a story can only barely be imagined. Instead it digs deep into sensations, atmospheres both seen and heard. Pina explores the social stereotypes that hold our so-called civilization together, and at the same time tears them apart. She exposes the awkwardness and frailty of existence in imagery that is often bordering on the surreal and the absurd.

And principally, it's also a film about the seasons. The leaves in autumn, the snow of winter, the grass in spring. There are twin desires screaming beneath the surface of this film - both the need to be loved, and fear of death. Once again, this is not a dance-film about form for form's sake, but rather to communicate a message that has to be interpreted by the viewer. It also gives you the time to contemplate, while the meticulous images unfold, set to an exotic music soundtrack. Simply gorgeous.

Date & Time: 

Wednesday, 28 November, 2018 - 20:00


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2,50 euro (please bring exact change)
De Kring


basically at the Leidseplein, across from De Balie

Weekly programme of film screenings in a circuit of underground / self-organised venues. Forgotten movies that should have been classics, neglected flics, lesser-known gems, always with a personal introduction by the programmer. All films in English, or with English subtitles.


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opening times: 

mostly Sunday to Thursday at about 7 different underground locations.