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 ...
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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 »
Anytime you sit down to a historical piece, especially a part of a trilogy, you must be prepared for an investment of time. In this case, it is 3 hours more or less, depending on the version.
The period that the first part of the Trilogy covers is 1919 -1949. Theodoros Angelopoulos presents 30 years of Greek history beginning with the return of the exiles from Odessa after WWI to the rise of the Colonels.
Eleni, who witnesses the history, is played by an unknown, Alexandra Aidini. He does not use her in the second film.
She is to marry Spyros (Vassilis Kolovos), but loves his son Alexis (Nikos Poursadinis), She runs off with him. They had two children that were taken and given to a rich woman. They managed to get them back after the village flooded. Alexis heads to America, while Eleni loses the children again after she is imprisoned. The war takes a toll on the family. There is much weeping among the women and those who didn't wear black, did so now.
But, the film is really not about the characters. It is about Greece, and the pain she has endured in this century.
It is a dark and dreary film with plenty of rain and cloudy skies. It is not meant to be joyful as the period is not joyful, as we watch dreams shattered, and people surviving, but just barely.
With music by Eleni Karaindrou and cinematography by Andreas Sinanos, you are not bored by the lack of dialog. In fact, you are left to enjoy and experience the time and the film.
Those who enjoy Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, and other great masters, will certainly enjoy Theodoros Angelopoulos. I hope he finished this trilogy, as he will be almost 80 when he does.
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