Based on some historical events, the film gives a romanticized biography of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a Greek historical hero serving as a metaphor for Greece herself. Based on a circular ... See full summary »
On New Year's Eve, a bourgeoisie group of hunters finds the frozen body of a long dead WWII partisan fighter. They spend the night debating what to do with it, which reveals their sins from the war and leads to their symbolic punishment.
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 »
It is 1936 in Greece, shortly before the Metaxas' dictatorship. A former drug trafficker and police informer, Sofianos, is in prison because of the assassination of a trade unionist during ... See full summary »
A, an American film director of Greek ancestry, is making a film that tells his story and the story of his parents. It is a tale that unfolds in Italy, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada ... See full summary »
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 »
Famous writer Alexander is very ill and has little time left to live. He meets a little boy on the street, who is an illegal immigrant from Albania, and goes on a journey with him to take the boy home.
Alexandre, a TV reporter, is working for a few days in a border town, where a lot of refugees from Albania, Turkey and Kurdistan are packed in. Among them, he notices an old man and thinks he is an important Greek politician who disappeared mysteriously a few years ago. Back in Athens, he asks this politician's former wife to come and identify him. A slow and dry meditation about inhumanity of borders.Written by
Alexandre the Reporter:
Travelling on an assignment to the frontier, I kept thinking about the incident at the Pireas. Bodies of Asian refugess in the sea, after Greek authorities refused to grant them political asylum. Their determination to jump to their deaths, from a Greek ship, in the open seas after they had been diiscovered, while crossing the Pacific... How does one leave? Why? Where to? Is it like in that old poem? "And don't forget that the time to leave has come. The wind will carry your eyes ...
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Having only ever seen one Angelopoulos film before - The Travelling Players, which thrilled me about as much as paint drying on a wall - I was unprepared for the revelation that is The Suspended Step of the Stork. Shot over a decade ago, this long metaphysical tale of desperate refugees and disenchanted politicians has become more contemporary with each intervening year. As if a lone Greek film-maker had somehow prophesied the horrors of Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq - and the creeping paralysis that has overtaken Western democracy.
It begins in a refugee camp on the Greek-Albanian border, where a TV journalist spots an elderly man (Marcello Mastroianni) and decides he is a leading politician who went missing years before. Tracing the man's 'widow' (Jeanne Moreau) the reporter gropes his way towards the film's central dilemma. What could make a progressive intellectual lose all faith in humanity, to the extent that he gives up not only his political career but also his very identity?
This sounds like dry stuff indeed, and so it might be without the alchemical power of Angelopoulous's camera. There are sequences here that beg for inclusion in an anthology of all-time cinema greats. The tracking-shot along a disused train, each carriage inhabited by a penniless refugee family. The wedding across the river, with bride and groom stranded on opposite sides by the arbitrary idiocy of national borders, which veers perilously close to kitsch but never succumbs.
Moreau is magnificent, Mastroianni his genial hangdog self, but neither actor could ever mistake this film for a star vehicle. If there is a star here, it's the soul of humanity itself. A soul neither living nor dead, but held in suspended animation.
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