Cythera, in Greek mythology, is the isle of dreams where one can dedicate oneself to happiness (or its pursuit). In this quest within a quest, the tale of the father's return is told from the point of view of his son Telemachus, a middle-aged filmmaker with a son of his own. The film director, tired of the illusions and fictions of his profession, searches for a story of substance by attaching himself to an old man, who has recently returned from political exile. The man, who has spent 32 years in the Soviet Union, and is now stateless, finds himself at the beginning of a journey, not the end, and Angelopoulos evokes the past, present and future to bridge the gap between reality and the imagination. Voyage to Cythera is about an old man – the country's leftist past – who cannot become reconciled to his country's present; or perhaps it is Greece that is not ready to come to grips with its past. In the end, the old man is adrift on a raft headed away from Greece into international waters, with no home to steer toward, joined by his wife, a latter-day Penelope who, despite the fact that this man is more a stranger than a husband to her after so many years, opts to share the rest of her life with him – and in doing so accepts all of his past, his sorrow, his politics and his failed dreams. It is a journey to the dark side of Greek history where it crosses paths with myth.
Best Screenplay and FIPRESCI Prize | Cannes IFF, France, 1984
CAST & CREW
Theodoros Angelopoulos with Thanassis Valtinos and Tonino Guerra
Director of Photography
Thanassis Arvanitis, Dinos Kittou, Nikos Achladis
Manos Katrakis, Giulio Brogi, Mary Chronopoulou, Dionyssis Papayannopoulos, Dora Volanaki, Athinodoros Proussalis, Michalis Yannatos, Vassilis Tsaglos, Despina Geroulanou, Tassos Saridis
Greek Film Centre, Z.D.F., Channel 4, R.A.I., Greek Television, Theo Angelopoulos Films
Born 1935, Athens․ He studied law at the University of Athens. After completing his military service, he went to Paris to attend Sorbonne, and then enrolled in the prestigious French film school, IDHEC, to study film. He worked for a time at the Musée de l'Homme under the tutelage of Jean Rouch, the ethnographer and pioneer of cinema verite. He returned to Athens in 1964 and, until 1967, was a film critic for the leftist paper Democratic Change. He began to make films at around 1965 – an attempt at a full-length feature film entitled The Forminx Story, which he never completed after a disagreement with the producers – and then a short film Broadcast. In 1970 came his first full-length feature film Reconstruction. Since then his films have been featured in countless international festivals and have won numerous awards, which have established his reputation as one of the most influential directors in contemporary cinema.
Forminx Story (1965), The Broadcast (1968), Reconstruction (1970), Days of ’36 (1972), The Travelling Players (1974-75), The Hunters (1977), Megalexandros (1980), One Village, One Villager (1981, TV), Athens, Return to the Acropolis (1983, TV), Voyage to Cythera (1983), The Bee-Keeper (1986), Landscape in the Mist (1988), The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), Ulysse’s Gaze (1995), Lumiere and Company (segment, 1995), Eternity and a Day (1998), The Weeping Meadow (2003), To Each His Own Cinema (segment Trois Minutes, 2007), Dust of Time (2008)