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cwieck_2

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Very successful mix of political and personal history, 27 July 2004
10/10

Justly famous for being one of the last remaining directors still doing extraordinary cinema, in this film Angelopoulos celebrates the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, while, at the same time, looking with touching sensitivity into the lives of people molded by recent (and less recent) History. Some of the scenes related to History have already become classic, but, personally, I was more impressed by the description of the way this History affected individuals and families. Although the media has covered so amply the tragic events in the Balkans and (to a lesser extent) the external aspects of people's life, very little has been said about more human aspects which, after all, will keep affecting them for many, many years to come. In my opinion, this film offers the most complete, convincing and respectful take on the affected people's emotions, memories and relations among the (few) films, documentaries and books touching on the theme.

The scale is epic both geographically and chronologically and since Angelopoulos manages to move easily between dream and reality (one of the biggest problems facing cinema directors), the personal stories are nicely interwoven with History. Angelopoulos' characteristic long takes, in this instance serve more than giving the film a poetic atmosphere. It is necessary for his goal of looking carefully on individuals' lives and describe their joys and sorrows.

In terms of execution, there were some flaws (especially in technicalities of directing of actors) but, frankly, I don't mind that, if the alternative is perfectly executed films but lacking interesting ideas.