The Travelling Players Review

Image for The Travelling Players

Depicting events from the rise of fascism to the imposition of military rule through the eyes of a troupe that performs the same pastoral play, Golpho The Shepherdess, regardless of the political climate.

★★★★

A gentle tribute to the unchanging nature of the Greek soul in the midst of turmoil, Theo Angelopoulos' 230-minute epic is also a melancholic denunciation of a national character that is so preoccupied with the past that it can't cope with the contingencies of the present.

Depicting events from the rise of fascism to the imposition of military rule through the eyes of a troupe that performs the same pastoral play, Golpho The Shepherdess, regardless of the political climate, the action may confound those untutored in Greek history.

But while knowing that the players are named after the dramatis personae in Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy adds to the film's intellectual lustre, ignorance doesn't make it inaccessible, as the human tragedy becomes increasingly compelling as it unfolds, while Angelopoulos' stately visual style is constantly arresting.