At 87 years old, Jean-Luc Godard continues to break new ground, both
formally and intellectually, delivering a film at once so daring and so
generous that it makes the vast majority of today’s cinema seem terribly
old-fashioned and remote. For those who know Godard’s work, The
Image Book begins on familiar ground, with breathtaking associations
between images from classic films and news footage creating a vision
of a world in crisis and a meditation on cinema’s relationship to history.
Then Godard goes where we have never seen him go before, editing
together dozens of clips from films made in the Arab world to depict
this region so often plagued by reductive or sensationalistic reporting
not as a hell on earth but a paradise lost. The film ends with nothing
less than a call to revolution, an appeal no longer tinged with the
violence and radical rhetoric of Godard’s long-ago Maoist period, but
a profoundly humane hope for the future. The emotional punch of this
gentle, lucid ultimatum articulated by the master himself is magnified
by the fact that it is spoken in the raspy voice of a frail old man.
French with English subtitles
Kino Lorber, Inc.