In 2010, Straub goes to Alsace in France to complete the second film of the Barrès series. At this time, the film is based on the novel, Au service de l’Allemagne, about Mont Saint Odile written in 1903.
“In 1994, Huillet and Straub made Lothringen! based on the writings of Maurice Barrès. Eighteen years later, Straub returned alone. Not only to Barrès' words but also to Lorraine, the region he grew up in. A meeting between Straub's memories of his native town Metz and Barrès' story Au service de l'Allemagne about Mont Sainte-Odile, Alsace. Opening with a handheld tracking shot – a deviation from the Straubian static pans – the film traces a young country doctor who must choose between his "French soul and the German deed".”
This article was originally published in Balthazar, 2023.