Hans Jurgen Syberberg’s six-hour trance film takes place during the last night of World War II, as a woman (Edith Clever) sitting in the ruined courtyard of the Danish embassy in Berlin and surrounded by artifacts of the German culture that has just come to its end recites a series of excerpts taken from the classics of German romanticism. Xaver Schwarzenberger’s exquisite black-and-white cinematography transforms Clever’s angular face into an expressionistic landscape of light and shadow; as she speaks, she moves slowly through an elaborate choreography that sometimes suggests Eastern dance, sometimes athletic exercises. Somehow, the power of the piece seems to hinge on the fact that Clever has memorized the entire text (it was originally performed as a stage production); her entire being seems to carry the imprint of the works she articulates.