One of Chris Marker's few fiction films, THE EMBASSY shows political dissidents seeking refuge in a foreign embassy after a military coup d'état in an unidentified country. Over the next few days, more and more people fleeing the military assault-teachers, students, intellectuals, artists, and politicians-arrive at the embassy.
An anonymous cameraman records the tense situation with his Super-8 camera, and provides a voice-over commentary, as the Ambassador and his wife arrange to house and feed the growing group, who monitor radio reports of the alarming political developments-including thousands of political prisoners detained in a stadium, and reports of executions-and glimpse activities on the streets outside. The refuge-seekers accommodate themselves to the makeshift living arrangements, find ways to pass the time, and engage in often heated political debates.
“Two of Chris Marker’s most boldly political films... [THE EMBASSY] is an emotionally powerful film, especially in its closing moments, speaking more about the temper of the times than any history of the era has yet expressed... [THE SIXTH SIDE OF THE PENTAGON] is equally powerful documentary footage... breathtaking and emboldening.” —Bob Ham, DVD Corner
"A trenchant political allegory." —Catherine Lupton, Chris Marker: Memories of the Future
"Something of a cross between the immersive docufiction of Peter Watkins and the reflexive diaries of Jonas Mekas... serves as both a portent and potent statement on the myth of cinema as a direct representation of reality." —Acquarello, The Auteurs Cinema Blog