Friday 16 November 2012

The Dust of Time [2008]

The Dust of Time was Theo Angelopoulos’ last completed feature film, and the second chapter in his unfinished trilogy on modern Greece (he died in an accident while making the final film of the said trilogy, viz. The Other Sea). It was the perfect apotheosis of what one Theo aficionado once jokingly remarked – that Theo loved making the same movie over and over again. However, unlike some of his earlier works, this film, set across a timeline of around half a century, didn’t limit its scope to contemporary Greek history only – rather, it expanded to include a number of key European political milestones. Similar to Voyage to Cythera, it opened with a filmmaker (William Defoe) making a movie about the incredible story of his parents; in a parallel track, the story of separation and reunion of his father (Michel Piccoli) and his mother (Irene Jacob), and the presence of a second man (Bruno Ganz) in the life of his mother when she was in exile in Siberia while his father was in Russian prison. The turbulent and volatile political transformations that shaped Europe during post-WWII 20th century, thus, played integral roles in the lives of this group of people – bringing both tragedy and fleeting happiness for them. Though, personally, I found it to be a relatively lesser-Theo – particularly on account of its rather labored pacing and overstretching of the ‘present’ part of the storyline, it still managed to be a complex tapestry where the personal and the political was inextricably intertwined. Fine cinematography and score apart, the film comprised of a truly startling starcast.

p.s. Watched this as part of 2012 Kolkata International Film Festival (KFF)

Director: Theo Angelopoulos
Genre: Drama/Political Drama/Family Drama/Historical Epic
Language: Greek
Country: Greece

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