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Class Relations
USA release poster
Directed by Jean-Marie Straub
Danièle Huillet
Written by Franz Kafka (novel)
Starring Christian Heinisch
Mario Adorf
Nazzareno Bianconi
Harun Farocki
Cinematography William Lubtchansky
Caroline Champetier
Christophe Pollock
Edited by Danièle Huillet
Jean-Marie Straub
Release date
  • 21 February 1984 (1984-02-21)
Running time
126 minutes
Country West Germany/France
Language German

Klassenverhältnisse, known in English as Class Relations, in French as Amerika, rapports de classe, is a 1984 film by the French filmmaking duo of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. It is based on Franz Kafka's unfinished first novel, Amerika.

The German filmmaker Harun Farocki appears as one of the leads, and the film also features a cameo from American experimental filmmaker Thom Andersen.

A documentary was made about the filming process, Jean-Marie Straub und Danièle Huillet bei der Arbeit an einem Film.



As Franz Kafka never visited the United States, the film was intentionally shot in Europe, with the bulk of shooting occurring in Germany. The film features prominently architecture, flora and costuming (including a policeman in a bobby helmet) that is unlikely to be found in the United States. Only a handful of shots were shot on location in the United States, including the Statue of Liberty and the Missouri River.[1] Though Huillet and Straub are both French, the film was shot in German, the book's original language.

The film was shot on black-and-white 35mm Kodak film stock by French cinematographer William Lubtchansky. Like all other Straub-Huillet films, it only uses location sound recorded at the same time as the image, emphasizing cinema's documentary nature over the pictorial.


The film was entered into the 34th Berlin International Film Festival where it won an Honourable Mention.[2]


  1. ^ "2 on Class Relations". Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1984 Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 

External links[edit]