Eternity and a Day (1998) | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 01, 2016

classic review

Eternity and a Day (1998)

Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos

Writers: Theodoros Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra 

Stars: Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld, Fabrizio Bentivoglio

Runtime: 137min

PLOT: A famous writer with very little time left to live meets a boy on the street, an illegal immigrant from Albania, and goes on a journey to take the boy home.

REVIEW: Director Angelopoulos has provided a work of immense poetry and humility, which excavates the dark story. The filmmaker's abstract and eloquent work is so trance-inducing that the film can barely be enjoyed in any terrestrial manner. Throughout the film Angelopoulos turned the protagonist's whole life into something much greater than the sum of its parts.

At the centre of the film lies the performance of grandeur by Bruno Ganz. He portrays Alexandre, a Greek poet who awaits his imminent death from cancer and prepares to go to the hospital to complete his unfinished poem.  He brought the quiet authority of a man who is patiently in search of his life's ultimate meaning. In the course of his wanderings, a young Albanian boy joins him whose political banishment stand out as a reflection to Alexandre's spiritual condition.

On the whole, “Eternity and a Day” is a haunting poetic departing of an artist whose memory takes him across a journey of his life during his last day in the world. The style of drifting metaphysical reverie, most commonly attributed to Angelopoulos, is evident in this movie and is one of the director's most intriguing storytelling efforts.

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