Set in 1919, among some refugess from Odessa are two children - Alexis and the orphan Eleni, who is taken in by Alexis' family. They grow up and fall in love, but dark times are ahead...
Few films can boast as many striking images as this first instalment of Theo Angelopoulos' projected trilogy. But while cinematographer Andreas Sinanos makes sublime use of the river and railside settings, there's no escaping the fact that this is very much a summation of the themes and symbols that the director has explored to greater effect in the likes of The Travelling Players and Days Of '36.
Moreover, he's also frequently linked the tragedies of ancient times and the Greek experience of the 20th century, and here the tale of a musician who absconds with his father's bride irresistibly recalls the myth of Paris, Helen and Menelaus. Visually, this can't be bettered, but the superficial storyline and cypher-like characters are undeniably disappointing.
Yes, it's looks beautiful, but some better rounded characters would have been nice.