Iphigenia (1977)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Original title:  Ifigeneia

Greece, 1977.  .  Screenplay by Mihalis Kakogiannis, based on the play Iphigeneia At Aulis by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Mihalis Kakogiannis.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Dionysis Fotopoulos.  Film Editing by , Mihalis Kakogiannis.  Academy Awards 1977.  Cannes Film Festival 1977.  

Director Michael Cacoyannis fleshes out Euripedes’ Greek tragedy with superb results. Following the slaying of her sacred deer, the goddess Artemis punishes King Agamemnon by refusing to allow the winds to blow that would take his ships to Troy and avenge Helen’s abandonment of his brother Menelaus. Sitting in port and waiting to go somewhere, Agamemnon learns from an oracle that he must sacrifice his eldest daughter Iphigenia () to the gods in order to fight his war. He invites his wife Clytemnestra () to come with their children under the assumption that he has a husband for Iphigenia, but the truth soon comes out that she is to be the bride of death. Iphigenia is willing to sacrifice her life to please her father, but Clytemnestra reacts in a rage so strong it practically begins a war of its own. Fascinating, shot in the barren, rocky landscapes of Greece and riveting for any manner of audience. Papas is stunning, and the drama has been adapted to the screen without any hint of staginess at all.

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