Tuesday 30 October 2012

Eternity and a Day [1998]

Eternity and a Day, the final chapter in his ‘Trilogy of Borders’, possibly remains Angelopoulos’ single most famous work internationally. This lyrical, meditative and deeply personal film dealt with two major themes – a peek into the mind of an aged man faced with the certainty of death, and an examination into the issue of cross-border human trafficking. Alexander (played with delicate balance by Bruno Ganz) is an ailing and ageing poet of repute who has taken the decision of getting himself admitted to a nursing home. He begins the day before that by meeting his married daughter in order to hand over his pet dog, but is faced disappointment with her detached response to his sudden arrival – more so when he is apprised that their old house has been put up for sale. Before long he meets an Albanian kid who has been illegally brought to Greece, and makes a spur of the moment decision to rescue him. With him he starts a heartwarming journey which is less physical and more spiritual. In the process, he gradually forms a deep bond with the cute homeless refugee kid, while also starts reliving the life he has lived – memories both happy and sad fill his mind, and meets people from his past (mother, wife, friends) à la Wild Strawberries as well as literary characters. Elegantly shot, liltingly scored and leisurely paced, the film was a mournful, contemplative look at a man coming to terms with age, mortality, loneliness and the slow dissipation of his body and talent, and a very real social issue, while discovering friendship and solace at the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Director: Theo Angelopoulos
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Road Movie
Language: Greek
Country: Greece

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