Not Reconciled, the title of the Straubs’ first feature-length film, is engraved on their work like an inscription. It is a story about the continuity and collapse of history, the power of suppression, and the terror of reconciliation; loyalty, treason and revenge. In a brave cinematic game, Heinrich Böll’s story Billiards at Half-Past Nine is split up into cracks, blocks, breaks and sudden turns, as the life story of a German family, covering numerous generations, is propelled forward. Terms such as “interwar period” and “post-war period” are blown up with a single cut, word or click of a billiard ball. Not Reconciled remains one of the most important German film of the past fifty years.
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