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The Hunters (1977)
"Oi kynigoi" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 October 1977 (France)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 357 users  
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It is New Year's Eve. 1976. On a Greek island a party of bourgeois hunters comes upon a body, buried in the snow and miraculously preserved by the cold. By his uniform, he appears to be one... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mairi Hronopoulou
Eva Kotamanidou
Aliki Georgouli
Vangelis Kazan ...
Sawas
Betty Valassi
Giorgos Danis ...
Industrialist
Stratos Pahis ...
Constructor
Christoforos Nezer ...
Politician
Dimitris Kaberidis
Takis Doukakos
Nikos Kouros ...
Militarist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rafael Denogias
Giorgos Frantzeskakis
Thanos Grammenos
Loukas Hrelias
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Storyline

It is New Year's Eve. 1976. On a Greek island a party of bourgeois hunters comes upon a body, buried in the snow and miraculously preserved by the cold. By his uniform, he appears to be one of the thousands of partisans killed during the civil war and the hunting party, a group of the ruling elite, must now decide what to do with the body. When they disinter it, blood begins to flow from the wounds in the partisan's body and they carry it back to the lodge where the inquest begins. The film becomes a biting commentary, an extraordinary allegory for the persistence of guilt in which Greece's post-war Right is placed symbolically on trial in a series of tableaux in which the hunters are faced with their re-created sins. Merging poetic metaphor and historic reconstruction each member of the hunting party views the body on the makeshift bier: the colonel and his wife, the businessman, the ex-prefect of police, now a publisher, the ex-partisan who is now a wealthy contractor, the ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

19 October 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Hunters  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part III of "A Trilogy of History" by Theodoros Angelopoulos. See more »

Connections

Follows The Travelling Players (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, surreal examination of politics, time, guilt and memories
10 February 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A striking, powerful follow up and companion piece to the epic 4 hour "The Traveling Players", Angelopolous further refines his complex visual style, jumping backwards and forwards in time, often, remarkably all in the same shot. (There are several very long takes here that are simply astounding, tracking us right out of the 1970s into the1960s and then the 1940s and back again).

A group of hunters in 1977 find a communist revolutionary, dressed in period clothing, freshly shot to death in the snow. But how can this be? All the Communists were executed or exiled back in 1949.

The subsequent surreal exploration of the past and present – of each character and of Greece itself – is a challenging statement on guilt, denial, moral confusion and self- deception.

This may be the best of all Andropolous' films at making multiple time periods dance together in the same scenes, often in the same shot, sometimes in the same frame (!). He uses cinema in a unique way to examine how the past shapes the present, and how we in the present re-shape the past in our memories.

And while this is all quite serious, the film also has a bleak sense of humor that shows its head now and again.

A difficult, but tremendously rewarding film.

Note: There seem to be two versions of the film in existence, both supposedly 'approved' by the director. A 143 minute version (available on the new Artificial eye Andropoulos box set) and a longer 168 minute version, which I have not been able to find with subtitles, although there are non-subtitled Japanese and Chinese DVDs. This review is based on the Artificial Eye version.


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