This is the first film of Theo Angelopoulos' trilogy. The story starts in 1919 with some greek refugees from Odessa arriving somewhere near Thessaloniki. Among these people are two small ... See full summary »
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This is the first film of Theo Angelopoulos' trilogy. The story starts in 1919 with some greek refugees from Odessa arriving somewhere near Thessaloniki. Among these people are two small kids, Alexis and Eleni. Eleni is an orphan and she is also taken care by Alexis' family. The refugees build a small village somewhere near a river and we watch as the kids grow up and fall in love. But difficult times of dictatorship and war are coming... Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the key influences in the film being made was the death of Theodoros Angelopoulos's mother in 1998. Her life had spanned virtually the entire century so he wanted to make a film that did the same. See more »
Theo Angelopolous, the Greek director, undertakes the colossal task of putting in a film some thirty years of history in his country. The director has a poetical way to present his story, which was written in collaboration with some of the best minds of the business, namely, Tonino Guerra, Giorgio Silvani and Petros Markaris, one of our own favorite Greek writers.
The result is a complex canvas in which Mr. Angelopolous paints for us, the viewer, in dark colors that gives us an idea of what the country went through during that period. In a way, the director seems to be taking an outside position in recounting the tragedy his country lived by photographing in long shots almost every frame of the film. Of course, this being his style, it suits the poetical way in which he conceives the basic idea.
There are lots of moments in the film that take the viewer's breath away by the beauty of the composition of a particular scene. It's clear the director uses a lot of symbolism in trying to get his point across. The opening scene with the returning people from the Odessa massacre being one of the most effective things in the film. The rowing boats carrying people affected by the flood is another. The many white sheets waving in the wind, are just the highlights of the story, the way Mr. Angelopolous conceives it.
The actors act as an ensemble. Alexandra Aidini, who plays Eleni, the woman at the center of the tragedy, makes quite an impression. The excellent fading cinematography by Andreas Sinanos gives a rich texture to the film, as well as the music score by Eleni Karaindrou, that greatly enhances the mood of it.
While this film is definitely for a general public, it shows great moments of brilliance created by Theo Angelopolous working at his best.
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