Curator’s Pick: Theo Angelopoulos ‘Reconstruction’



Αναπαράσταση (Reconstruction) is Theo Angelopoulos’s first feature about the murder of a guest worker by his wife and her lover. Shot on location with a cast of villagers in northern Greece, it has an arresting look and feel care of its recent restoration by the Cineteca di Bologna.

This film, for me, is an elegy for a land rotting away, abandoned by its inhabitants.

Angelopoulos’s first feature deals with the murder of a Gastarbeiter (guest worker) in the mountainous village of Tymphaia in northern Greece. Returning after a long absence in West Germany – then an important destination of economic migration for Greek men – he is killed by his wife and her lover without explanation. While the crime itself remains unseen, Angelopoulos’s film features a reconstruction carried out by the examining magistrate and a dramatisation of events derived from local testimonies. Shot on location with a cast of amateur actors from the village itself, Angelopoulos places the crime and its effects within a broader context of economic decline and mass emigration sweeping Greece during the 1960s. Barren landscapes, intensified by an arresting use of black and white photography, suggest the overwhelming sense of loss experienced in regional areas; the film’s opening notes that the village’s population has fallen from 1283 to 85 in the 30 years between two national censuses.

For the first time in Australia, a complete retrospective of Theo Angelopoulos
Curators Pick: Anaparastasi (Reconstruction) 1970 18+
Screens 7.30pm Wednesday 20 April 2016 (1hr 50mins) / GOMA Cinema A / Free

Theo Angelopoulos (1935–2012) is widely regarded as the greatest Greek filmmaker, having crafted an epic vision of modern Greece and the Balkans through allegories of its turbulent social and political history. His films are celebrated for their poetic and elliptical style, choreographed sequences and haunting cinematography. Angelopoulos’s career was marked by a number of loosely connected film cycles — a trilogy of history, trilogy of silence, trilogy of borders and unfinished trilogy of modern Greece. Each confront different social, economic and cultural legacies, including Greece’s occupation and independence from Ottoman Turkey; a political history involving military dictatorship and civil war; the plight of refugees in Europe and the repercussions of the Balkan wars; Greek literature, mythology, and the director’s own biography. Seen together for the first time in Australia, this retrospective highlights the work of one of the most distinct and distinguished modern filmmakers.

QAGOMA acknowledges the support and assistance of Phoebe Economopoulou and Theo Angelopoulos Heirs Association in realising this project. Special thanks to Stavroula Geronimaki and the Greek Film Centre for generously providing screening materials. Program curated by José Da Silva, Australian Cinémathèque.

Theo Angelopoulos‘ | Free film program
Australian Cinémathèque, Gallery of Modern Art
15 April to 22 May 2016

Australian Cinémathèque
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.

Shakespeare on Screen | Free film program
22 April – 25 May 2016
Arabian Nights | Free film program
25 – 26 Nune 2016
Snow White | Ticketed
11 and 18 September 2016