Thursday 27 December 2012

The Weeping Meadow [2003]

The Weeping Meadow was the first film in Theo Angelopoulos’ last planned trilogy – that on modern Greece. However, thematically as well as aesthetically it felt like a companion piece to The Traveling Players and The Hunters, which belonged to his ‘Trilogy on History’. Even if it lacked the technical and structural audacity of the latter two films, it nonetheless had as breathtaking a scope, both historically and politically, and was nearly as mesmerizing an audio-visual experience. Spanning over 30 years of Greek history, from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1919, to the Greek Civil War in 1949, through a plethora of socio-political upheavals including the rise of Nazism in Europe and World War II, it was at once a highly political and a deeply personal film with elements of Greek Tragedy. At the forefront of this richly textured backdrop is the tragic love story of Alexis (Nikos Poursadinis), a talented accordionist, and Eleni (Alexandra Aidini), who Alexis’ father had planned to marry. Their lives are incessantly punctuated by historical developments, leading to a perpetually uprooted state – be it on account of the Red Army, the Nazi battery and political imprisonment, or poverty, hopes for employment, floods submerging their village and fleeing from Alexis’ obsessed father. Over the course of their journey, they forge a profound friendship with Nikos (Giorges Armenis), an avuncular violinist, and his closely-knit troupe of musicians. Gorgeously photographed in muted, washed out colours, accompanied by elegant long takes and a gently roving camera, hauntingly scored, and comprising of marvelous compositions, the film was filled with exquisite sequences and set-pieces, and is laced with deep melancholia and debilitating personal loss.

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

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