Spanning the years 1939-52, the story follows a company of actors who tour the length and breadth of Greece performing a pastoral folk tale. Observing the upheaval wrought upon them during this politically turbulent period, the film also offers a daringly critical comment upon the times in which it was made. That Angelopoulos shot the film under the noses of the Colonel's semi-fascist regime makes his achievement all the more remarkable.
War, politics, drama and tragedy. Be prepared!
- The Travelling Players review by DF
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
For me, a 5 star movie because it is an exceptional cinematic and passionate movie dealing with a part of WW2 history that is very much hidden, unknown and tragic. The eponymous 'travelling players' are are a somewhat forlorn bunch of actors who travel around Greece performing an old fashioned classical play in small towns. The action of the movie takes place against the background of the closing stages of WW2 in Greece. The players try to avoid the impact of the war and doggedly pursue their theatrical odyssey. Inevitably the background politics and war turmoil enter into the group; causing tensions and leading to some tragic consequences.
The cinematic direction of the movie shows no pity to the dismal background of a wartime country and the cruelties therein.
As a 'movie' I did find it difficult to keep track of some of the characters and their underlying story lines. For me however, two outstanding scenes in the film are two soliloquy spoken directly to camera by characters telling their harrowing stories. There are a couple of things that I would mention to any prospective viewer. The film is exceptionally long (3.40); so, be prepared for that! The director Angelopoulos in the making of this movie does not hide his political leanings. His historical perspective is particularly scathing about the wartime allies, especially the British and their part in how Greek partisans were dealt with. Essentially, the partisans were obliterated or imprisoned because their politics was 'communist' and this didn't fit the allies 'plan' to restore the monarchy to Greece. In this respect, some knowledge of the historical background will add greatly to appreciating the movie.