16 July 2010 | alexx668
Voyage to alienation, via history..
The plot is basic and ostensible. A director is making a film. This plot-line warps around another plot-line (played by the same actors), which is the most important one: a political refuge from the USSR returns to Greece after 32 years in exile. Upon returning, he doesn't adapt to the "new order" of things around him, and is eventually deported from Greece.
Some background info to understand what is going on here: after the Greek civil war of the mid-40's between the communists and the right-wings, and the subsequent win of the right-wings, the communist party was declared illegal, until it was legalized in the mid-70's, when the new era of Greek democracy started.
OK. However, this film isn't political. It is existential and it deals with dejected people that have been pushed aside as history moved forwards.
Now, at this point of his career, Angelopoulos still has a sharp directorial vision to offer, which he hasn't compromised by routine, mannerism, and lack of clarity as he progressively got more famous and made more money.
This film owes a lot to Antonioni's "The Red Desert", and Angelopoulos is already recycling a lot of his familiar motifs, something which is made even more obvious due to the basic plot. However, like I said, he still has a vision to offer, in powerful, "poetic" sequences of alienation and solitude. More than anything, this is a mood-piece rather than a proper film (especially when considering that this comes directly after his tour-de-force "Alexander The Great"), albeit a strong one.