Widely considered the greatest Greek filmmaker, Theo Angelopoulos (1935–2012) crafted an epic vision of modern Greece and the Balkans through allegories of its turbulent history, which will be featured at the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA in the first ever Australian retrospective. His films are celebrated for their haunting cinematography, and characters which inhabit worlds with a unique sense of time and space. Angelopoulos’s career was marked by a number of trilogies, each drawing from different social, economic and cultural legacies, including Greece’s occupation and independence from Ottoman Turkey, a history of military dictatorship, Greek literature and mythology, and the director’s own biography.
We are… waiting for the world to change but have no idea when this is going to happen. History is now silent. And we are all trying to find answers by digging into ourselves, for it is terribly difficult to live in silence.
The Weeping Meadow is the first in Angelopoulos’s poetic trilogy focused on the political and social history of Greece during the 20th Century. It elliptically moves through time, using the motif of water to reflect the sweeping and devastating effects of history. It follows a family of Greek refugees returning to their homeland after the Russian Revolution in 1919, through to their expatriation to America in 1949 at the end of the Greek Civil War. It focuses on the life of orphaned girl Eleni (Alexandra Aidini) and her half-brother Alexis (Nikos Poursanidis), and their passage through adolescence, marriage and parenthood. Their lives become ensnared in the political upheaval between trade unionists and the government and the events of World War II. The Weeping Meadow is Angelopoulos’s most commanding and visually accomplished film, and features some of his most mesmerising sequences of shifting scale, including the exodus of refugees from Odessa to Thessaloniki, a vast floating funeral procession and the flooding of a village.
‘Theo Angelopoulos‘ | Free film program
Australian Cinémathèque, Gallery of Modern Art
15 April to 22 May 2016
GOMA is the only Australian art gallery with purpose-built facilities dedicated to film and the moving image and offers a rare opportunity to see films presented on the big screen as they were intended, and features many 35mm prints sourced from film archives around the world and screened in one of Australia’s last 35mm film venues.