A woman murders her husband, upon his return home after a long absence, with the complicity of the lover who has relieved her loneliness. Costas Ghoussis, an emigrant recently returned to ... See full summary »
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A woman murders her husband, upon his return home after a long absence, with the complicity of the lover who has relieved her loneliness. Costas Ghoussis, an emigrant recently returned to his native country, is coming back from the fields, a shovel on his shoulder. He pushes open the garden gate in front of his house and calls his wife: Eleni! She does not answer; the reason: she is hidden behind the door of the kitchen with another man, Christos, a gamekeeper, the lover that she took during her husband's absence. Just as Costas crosses the threshold he is attacked and strangled. Despite their precautions, a relative of the victim suspects them and alerts the police. The criminals confess their crime. The reconstruction is that of the examining magistrate, whose inquiries are interspersed with sequences of the crime - although the actual murder is never shown - and with a social documentary which a TV unit (including the director himself) is making about the crime and the village. Written by
While far from my favorite film by the great Greek film-maker Theo Angelopoulos, it is exquisitely shot in gorgeous, stark black and white, and very impressive as a first feature.
I also find (as with other of his films) I get more out of it on each viewing. This exploration of the nature of truth revolving around the murder of a husband by his wife and her lover in a tiny Greek hamlet, and the subsequent investigation by the police and the press is emotionally reserved to the point of disconnection at times. And the time-shifting style which I often love on first viewing left me confused and frustrated more than enlightened. But once I was prepared for its fragmented approach, I found its sometime confusing density powerful.
I also realized how fully this is more than just a noir murder tale. It's a tale of the death of a way of life as well, as the rural towns of Greece were abandoned for money and hope in the big cities and abroad.
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