Too Early, Too Late

Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet / 1982 / 100 minutes

Inspired by a letter written by Friedrich Engels and a 1974 account of two militant Marxist writers who had been imprisoned by the Nasser regime, Straub-Huillet filmed Too Early/Too Late in France and Egypt during the anxious months of 1980 that followed the Camp David Accords and culminated in Anwar Sadat’s assassination the following year. The filmmakers reflect on Egypt’s history of peasant struggle and liberation from Western colonization, and link it to class tensions in France shortly before the Revolution of 1789, quoting texts by Friedrich Engels as well as the pioneering nonfiction film Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory.

  • "Almost certainly my favorite landscape film. What's remarkable about Straub and Huillet's beautiful long takes is how their rigorous attention to both sound and image seems to open up an entire universe."

    — Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • "Too Early, Too Late represents the most striking use of 'Straubian shots' in their work. The film has become totemic of Straub-Huillet."

    Senses of Cinema
  • "One hasn’t seen anything like it for quite some time. Since the silent period, to be precise."

    — Serge Daney
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