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Jean-Marie Straub, the French director who created an influential body of rigorous political films with his late partner Danièle Huillet, died Saturday evening in Rolle, Switzerland. He was 89.

Straub’s death was confirmed by the French publication Le Monde.

In 1954, Straub met Huillet in Paris when she was a member of Cahiers du Cinema alongside Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette and François Truffaut. The two emigrated to Germany so Straub could avoid military service during the Algerian War.

The directing duo drew from literature and musical works by figures such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka and Elio Vittorini to hone an uncompromising form across a diverse body of work that committed to exploring historical fragmentation and Marxist analysis of class struggle. The pair formed a sentimental, fiercely creative partnership that has made its mark on global political filmmaking, with directors such as Pedro Costa and Thom Andersen citing the two as major influences.

After filming their debut 1967 feature “The Chronicle of Anna Magadalena Bach,” Straub and Huillet relocated to Rome, where they made several features. Over five decades, the two sought to manifest what Straub referred to as “an abstract-pictorial dream,” creating homages to filmmakers such as Jean Renoir and Robert Bresson.

Two of their most celebrated films, “From the Clouds to the Resistance” and “Sicilia!,” premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. Their final collaboration, “Quei loro incontri,” was played in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2006.

Huillet died from cancer at the age of 70 in 2006, but Straub continued to work as a filmmaker following his partner’s death, most recently directing an autobiographical short in 2016.

Born on Jan. 8, 1993 in Metz, France, Straub studied literature at the Lycée Fustel-de-Coulanges in Strasbourg, later obtaining a bachelor’s degree at the University of Nancy. Straub and Hullet lived together for the majority of their lives. The pair had no children.