4 user 10 critic

Reconstruction (1970)

Anaparastasi (original title)
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 »


Theodoros Angelopoulos (screenplay), Stratis Karras (collaborating writer) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Toula Stathopoulou ... Eleni
Yannis Totsikas ... Hristos Gikas
Thanos Grammenos ... Eleni's Brother
Petros Hoedas Petros Hoedas ... Prosecutor
Mihalis Fotopoulos Mihalis Fotopoulos ... Kostas Gousis
Yannis Balaskas Yannis Balaskas ... Police Officer
Nikos Alevras Nikos Alevras ... Prosecutor's Assistant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alekos Alexiou Alekos Alexiou ... Police Inspector
Mersoula Kapsali Mersoula Kapsali ... Eleni's Sister in-law
Fokas Kapsalis Fokas Kapsalis
Tonis Lykouresis Tonis Lykouresis ... Journalist (as Ton. Lykouresis)
Panos Papadopoulos Panos Papadopoulos ... Journalist
Telis Samandas Telis Samandas ... Journalist
St. Vasdekis St. Vasdekis
Th. Vasdekis Th. Vasdekis


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 Andreas Varagoulis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


"Little Short Lemon Tree", a traditional lament from Epirus, is used for the opening and ending of the film. It's the same song that one of the prisoners whistles right before the attempted escape in Days of 36 (1972), it makes its way into the wedding scene of The Travelling Players (1975) and it's also heard during a scene of The Hunters (1977) (right before the publisher reads out a document to the civil engineer), drawing a connection between the early films of Theodoros Angelopoulos. See more »


Featured in Affection to the People (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Noir stripped of all glamor
17 May 2013 | by jrd_73See all my reviews

The plot of Theo Angelopoulos' Reconstruction resembles The Postman Always Rings Twice. A woman and her lover murder her husband and try to plant a plausible story. A police investigation casts suspicion on the couple's story. This time the wife is not Lana Turner, Jessica Lange, or even Clara Calamai. No, the adulterous wife looks like what her character is supposed to be: An illiterate, thirty-five year-old peasant woman, a mother of three. Then, again, her lover is no John Garfield. Reconstruction strips all of the glamor from its noir plot leaving a stark, realist portrayal of stagnation and desperation (as opposed to passion). Its visual look is stark and uninviting. Gone are even the seascapes which Angelopolous captures so well in other movies.

Reconstruction is set in a poor, rural village on a hillside. This is a landscape of stone, dirt, and dark clouds. A narrated prologue informs the viewer that this village's population has dropped from a couple thousand inhabitants to less than one-hundred in twenty years. The young, and even the not so young, are leaving, to Athens, to Germany, anywhere there is a forty hour week and nightclubs and good times. In the beginning of the film, Eleni's husband returns from working overseas. He has been gone for years and Eleni has found a secret lover to replace him. Soon, the husband is dead.

The film alternates between scenes of the police reconstructing the murder, trying to discover which lover was most responsible for the crime, and flashbacks of the lovers trying to cover their tracks. Two journalists show up to interview the citizens of the village (and don't add much to the film). That is about all there is to Reconstruction.

I normally admire director Angelopoulos' films. Many do not, finding them interminably boring. I, however, like the director's visual eye and appreciate the way he plays with time. I did not care much for Reconstruction. The film's pace was slow, even if it is the director's shortest film. The flashback structure did not have the sophistication of, say, Ulysses' Gaze, where years of Christmas celebrations go by in a single shot. Finally, I found the cinematography drab with the exception of two great scenes (a zoom out of Eleni burning evidence on a hilltop; a 360 degree pan around shamed, angry villagers as Eleni and her lover are being loaded onto a police truck).

Reconstruction feels much longer than it really is. It can probably be skipped by non-fans.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

28 January 1977 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Resurrection of a Crime See more »

Filming Locations:

Ioannina, Greece See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed