Quei loro incontri (These Encounters of Theirs). 2005. Italy/France. Written and directed by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet. Based on Dialogues with Leucò, by Cesare Pavese. With Angela Nugara, Vittorio Vigneri, Grazi Orsi, Romano Guelfi, Angela Durantini, Enrico Achilli, Giovanna Daddi, Dario Marconcini, Andrea Bacci, Andrea Balducci. 35mm. In Italian; English subtitles. 68 min.
In the last feature-length collaboration between Straub and Huillet before Huillet's death in 2006, villagers from across the length of Italy—a peasant, a postmaster, a theater director, a mayor, a rope maker—gather in the Tuscan countryside to recite the five final scenes of Cesare Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò. Published in 1947, just two years after the Holocaust and the Second World War and two years before Pavese’s suicide, the Dialogues offer a series of meditations on human destiny, both comical and tragic, between ancient Greek mythological figures. Desperate in their hunger for immortality, mortals are blind to the gift of being human—of their ability to experience joy and suffering; to feel a passing breeze or the touch of another body; to name, remember, and act.