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TRILOGY: THE WEEPING
MEADOW aka WEEPING MEADOW
aka TRILOGIA I: TO LIVADI POU DAKRYZEI
USA: New Yorker Films
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Alexandra Aidini, Nikos Poursanidis, Giorgos Armenis, Vassilis Kolovos, Eva Kotamanidou, Toula Stathopoulou, Michalis Yannatos, Thalia Argyriou, Grigoris Evangelatos, Aliki Kamineli
Director: Theo Angelopoulos
Countries: France / Greece / Italy
Language: Greek (English subtitles)
USA: 170 mins
UK: 162 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild violence and emotional intensity
USA Release Date: 16 September 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 21 January 2005
This is Angelopoulos' first feature since ETERNITY AND A DAY, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1998. TRILOGY: THE WEEPING MEADOW, a new masterpiece, premiered at Berlin 2004 in competition. It is the twelfth film by Theo Angelopoulos, the "director of History ", as he was aptly labelled after his triumph with TRAVELLING PLAYERS at Cannes in 1975.
TRILOGY: THE WEEPING MEADOW is the first of an epic trilogy with a woman as its heroine, who as a child, an adolescent, a wife, a mother and a lonely woman, experiences the plight of the refugee, death and exile but also love and tragic passion. Her name is a symbol: Eleni (Helen). As Theo Angelopoulos explains "the Eleni of myth, the Eleni of all the myths who is pursued... but who also pursues absolute love. The definition of her existence is that of a person without home and hearth. A person, who, having traversed a century of constant uprooting and having desperately sought a safe haven, experiences this merciless fate... After ETERNITY AND A DAY, the immediately succeeding significant moment was the end of the twentieth century...I felt the need to talk about this end of the century, or at least take a look at the whole century. This film is structured like a Greek tragedy, consisting of Oedipus, the Theban cycle myths and Antigone."
The film was shot entirely in Greece, on Kerkini Lake where an entire village was constructed and in Thessaloniki where a refugee settlement was built. The story unfolds in the time period between 1919 and 1949: Eleni is born in Odessa before the Russian revolution and adopted by a Greek family who bring her home to Greece. She has twins by her adoptive brother, Alexis, with whom she later elopes on her wedding day to Alexis' father. In Thessaloniki they befriend Nikos, a fiddle player. He promotes Alexis' talent on the accordion and soon Alexis and his band decide to leave for America. Eleni is left behind with her two sons. She is caught harbouring a fugitive from justice after the popular uprising of 1936, and thrown into jail, only to find out upon her release ten years later that her sons have both been killed, fighting on opposite sites during the civil war which convulsed Greece after the end of the Second World War.
The second part of the trilogy will be a 'road' movie that begins in Uzbekistan in 1953 on the day of Stalin's death and crosses Russia to Siberia and Moscow and eventually to New York. In the third part the action takes place entirely in New York.