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To vlemma tou Odyssea (1995)

Unrated | | Drama, War | 1 November 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

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An exiled filmmaker finally returns to his home country where former mysteries and afflictions of his early life come back to haunt him once more.

Director:

Theodoros Angelopoulos (as Thodoros Angelopoulos)

Writers:

Theodoros Angelopoulos (screenplay) (as Thodoros Angelopoulos), Kaii Tsitseli (dialogue translation) | 3 more credits »
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11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

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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 »

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Greece, 1939-1952: Fascist, Nazi, and Communist conflict, as seen through the eyes of a family of travelling provincial players.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... A
Erland Josephson ... Library Curator
Maia Morgenstern ... Kali
Thanasis Vengos ... Taxi Driver
Giorgos Mihalakopoulos ... Nikos
Dora Volanaki ... Old Woman
Mania Papadimitriou ... Mother
Giorgos Konstas ... Father
Thanos Grammenos ... Manakias' Assistant
Alekos Oudinotis ... Greek Film Library Manager
Angel Ivanov Angel Ivanov ... Bulgarian Interrogator (as Angel Ivanof)
Ljuba Tadic
Vaggelis Liodakis Vaggelis Liodakis
Gert Llanaj Gert Llanaj ... Little Boy
Agni Vlahou
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Storyline

A, a Greek filmmaker living in exile in the United States, returns to his native Ptolemas to attend a special screening of one of his extremely controversial films. But A's real interest lies elsewhere--the mythical reels of the very first film shot by the Manakia brothers, who, at the dawn of the age of cinema, tirelessly criss-crossed the Balkans and, without regard for national and ethnic strife, recorded the region's history and customs. Did these primitive, never-developed images really exist? If so, where are they? - "Why A? It's an alphabetical choice. Every filmmaker remembers the first time he looked through the viewfinder of a camera. It is a moment that is not so much the discovery of cinema--but the discovery of the world. But there comes a moment when the filmmaker begins to doubt his own capacity to see things, when he no longer knows if his gaze is right and innocent." --Theo Angelopoulos Written by Frank Wallner <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

1 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ulysses' Gaze See more »

Filming Locations:

Korce, Albania See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$42,202
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around ten minutes) A woman is singing a famous mourning song in Kurdish, called "Ahmade Mala Musa (Ahmad of Musa family)". See more »

Quotes

A: I didn't expect to see you suddenly, I guess... For a moment, I thought I was dreaming of you... Like I did all these past years... Do you remember the railway station?... You were shivering in the rain, like now... The wind was blowing hard... I was going away, but I meant to come back soon... And then I got lost, wandering along strange routes... If I could stretch out my hands, I would touch you... And time will be held again... But something is holding me back... I wish I could tell you I'd...
See more »

Connections

References Lady Chatterley's Lover (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Ohi de horizomaste
Folk Song
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User Reviews

 
Very successful mix of political and personal history
27 July 2004 | by cwieck_2See all my reviews

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.


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