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With: Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Despina Bebedelli, Achileas Skevis
Written by: Theo Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Petros Markaris, Giorgio Silvagni
Directed by: Theo Angelopoulos
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Greek with English subtitles
Running Time: 132
Date: 05/23/1998

Eternity and a Day (1999)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Greek Show

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The latest from internationally acclaimed Greekfilmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, Eternity and a Day is the winner of the 1998 Palme D'Or at the CannesFilm Festival. With the exception of limited releases like Landscape in theMist (1988) and Ulysses' Gaze (1995), Angelopoulos has hardly been heard of inthis country . His masterpiece The Traveling Players (1975) has, to myknowledge, yet to be released here.

Eternity and a Day is clearly the work of a master. This story of an old dying writer (Bruno Ganz, Wings of Desire) is precisely controlled and confidently poetic. The writer takes a look back on his life via letters written by his late wife, but at the same time crosses paths with a young refugee boy who is nearly arrested before the writer intervenes and whose life crosses his own for a time.

Eternity and a Day has received criticism for being slow and difficult. Those who dare to come see it will find it a demanding, but ultimately rewarding experience. Angelopoulos has a way of allowing his story to slip around from present day to a fantasy past to imaginary storytelling without skipping a beat, and sometimes without even breaking a shot. These days, such mastery is hard to come by.

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