Le streghe, femmes entre elles

← Part of the Collection: Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub
Le streghe, femmes entre elles

Straub’s form in Le streghe is the same as his last film, Le genou d’Artemide, also from Pavese. Two immobile characters in the woods talk to each other about love at opposite sides of the screen, in an establishing shot.


“The encounter takes place in the forest, between Circe and Leucótea. It may suffice to open the senses to the presence of what is, 

Understanding that,

"All that's needed is a hill, a peak, a seacoast. A solitary place where your eyes look up and stop in the sky. The incredible way things stand out in the air still touches the heart today. I, for my part, believe that a tree or a rock, profiled against the sky, were gods from the start."

Le streghe:

Circe, the older woman, leans on a rock covered by moss, in an inscrutable posture, between gravity and grace. 

Leucó, the younger woman, in crimson red, all roots and branches behind her, listens to the sensual words of Circe and moves her body towards inquiry. 

A sharing takes place in the shade, balancing distance and closeness.

The camera focuses our attention on Circe, or Leucó or both Who, by being goddesses, know what the mortals don't. Circe remembers Odysseus, the one who longs for home, for Penelope, 

For his dog that awaits him 

"Imagine, Leucó, that dog had a name."

The sunlight sprawls from Circe's face into the ferns, the ivies, the roots in the clearing.

And if we close our eyes, even for a moment, noticing only their voices, the sound of water, the bird songs, allowing ourselves to be nourished by all these dialogues, until

We are raptured by a sudden movement, a tone of voice Leuco asks Circe:

Tu vorresti? / Would you like to?
(break the chain)

Ohh the intimacy between women, 

The complicity called sisterhood, 

femmes entre elles arbres entre elles.

The creek we hear, we later see 

the Straubian camera slowly caressing it.
I, for my part, believe that the flowing water is medicine.
Cinema too.”

Silvia das Fadas1

  • 1Silvia das Fadas, "The Witches, Women Amongst Themselves," Balthazar, 2023.
UPDATED ON 10.01.2024
IMDB: tt1414836