Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: To Meteoro Vima Tou Pelargou
France/Italy/ Greece/Switzerland, 1991. Arena Films, Erre Produzioni, Th. Angelopoulos Productions, Greek Film Center, Vega Film, ERTI, Canal+, Rai 2, Greek Television ET-1, Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft, La Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, Département Fédéral de l’Intérieur, Eurimages. Story by Theodoros Angelopoulos, Screenplay by Theodoros Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Petros Markaris, Thanassis Valtinos. Cinematography by Giorgos Arvanitis, Andreas Sinanos. Produced by Theodoros Angelopoulos, Bruno Pesery. Music by Eleni Karaindrou. Production Design by Robert Boyle. Costume Design by Giorgos Patsas, Rita Riggs. Film Editing by Yannis Tsitsopoulos. Cannes Film Festival 1991.
Gregory Patrikareas plays a Greek television reporter working in a border town near Albania, who sees a refugee living on an abandoned train and believes it is actually a missing politician (Marcello Mastroianni) who disappeared some years earlier. He contacts the politician’s wife (Jeanne Moreau) and asks her about her husband, before taking her back to where he found the man in an effort to solve the mystery. This film by Theo Angelopoulos features his trademark long, dry shots of barren Greek vistas and is paced on par with watching paint dry, but the images are beautiful and the emotional resonance of the story holds you throughout its entirety. There aren’t any of the obscure political references that often make his films difficult to watch, and the performances (especially Moreau) are mesmerizing.