Wednesday 31 October 2012

The Hunters (Oi Kynigoi) [1977]

The Hunters, Theo’s concluding chapter to his “Trilogy of History”, was an astounding follow-up to the mesmerizing epic, The Travelling Players, and very closely aligned with it thematically, structurally, stylistically and tonally. While the failed Communist revolution of 1949 was one of many memorable vignettes in the earlier film, it was the point of reference here. It begins in 1977 with a group of middle-aged bourgeois hunters stumbling upon the curiously preserved corpse of a rebel. They bring the body to home, and thus begins a complex and fascinating study of the contemporary political history of the country, and more importantly, their collective sense of guilt for the failed revolution. With the narrative seamlessly shifting between past and present, including sometimes even within the duration of a single shot, each of the characters in the ensemble cast is put under the scanner in order to examine what really went wrong and what transpired since then as a result. Suffice it to say, the director took a decidedly Leftist stance while chronicling the richly layered story laced with allegories and symbolisms. Brilliantly shot in faded colours and filmed in audacious long takes, the movie boasted of jaw-dropping scene constructions that literally broke down the space-time conventions that movies religiously adhere to. It also comprised of a number of deeply melancholic folk-based songs – beautifully scored and written – that evoked a deep sense of unrequited love, loss and heartbreak throughout its epic length. In a bravura closure, a common dream sequence finally purges the guilt-stricken men and women off the suppressed but heavily scarred memories from their pasts.

Director: Theo Angelopoulos
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Political Drama/Ensemble Film/Epic
Language: Greek
Country: Greece


Sam Juliano said...

Another masterful piece for sure. I have noted I am MIA with this Trilogy, but am confident I will get to it.

Shubhajit said...

This is a masterpiece, in my humble opinion - and certainly my second favourite Theo so far (right after The Traveling Players). What is "MIA", by the way? I get the meaning though :)