Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
Original title: Mavro Livadi
Greece, 2009. Highway Productions, Greek Film Center, Lamisalia, 2/35, Nova. Screenplay by Vardis Marinakis. Cinematography by Marcus Waterloo. Produced by Giorgos Lykiardopoulos. Music by Dimitris Maramis. Production Design by Giorgos Georgiou. Costume Design by Giorgos Georgiou. Film Editing by Yannis Chalkiadakis.
A group of cloistered Greek nuns in the 17th century take in a Janissary soldier after he falls off his horse, practically dead, before their gates. Not wanting to risk being unchristian, the women help nurse the man back to health but at the same time keep him chained up and guarded for their protection.
One of the young women that they assign to watch over him develops a sympathy and it is not long before the two of them run off into the woods together. There’s a twist not far in the distance when the escaping couple get down to business and Anthi, the novice with whom the soldier has escaped, turns out to have more going on than was originally expected.
Mixing The Crying Game with Into Great Silence is quite the fascinating experiment but it hardly pays off here: this is one of the most gorgeously shot films in recent years, rich in atmosphere and imagery, but the pacing is heavily boring and the overripe acting quite difficult to swallow.