Too Early, Too Late, Dirs. Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, France/Egypt, 1980–81, 100 min., English
Too Early, Too Late (1980–81) is a diptych shot in France and Egypt which concerns the relationship between history, class struggle and land. In the first part of the film, Huillet reads excerpts from a letter written by Friedrich Engels on the eve of the Revolution of 1789 about the impoverishment of French peasants. In the second part, shot in the Egyptian desert, the writer Bahgat Elnadi reads from Class Conflict in Egypt: 1945–1970, a book he co-authored with Adel Rifaat under the pseudonym Mahmoud Hussein, which covers the history of anti-colonial resistance and class struggle in Egypt.
Danièle Huillet wrote about the film: ‘What is recounted: struggles, revolts, defeats, delays and anticipations, statistics; what is represented: history, topography, geography, geology, light, lights, wind and clouds, land (transformed and worked by men), traces – erased or still visible – and sky (lots of sky).’