The Suspended Step of the Stork (To meteoro vima tou pelargo)

Dir. Theo Angelopoulos. 1991, 136 mins. 35mm. With Gregory Patrikareas, Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau. In the first film of his “trilogy of borders,” Angelopoulos captures the hopelessness and confusion of politics in a new video age, even as he hopes for more connection with the world outside Greece and Albania. A TV journalist spots a lost soul (Mastroianni) in a refugee village and becomes convinced he is a politician and intellectual who has willfully disappeared himself from the Greek Parliament. The journalist seeks out the politician’s wife (Moreau) to confirm his suspicions and becomes romantically entangled with the man’s daughter, who is on the verge of marriage with a young man on the other side of the border. The arbitrariness of borders and the impossibility of finding truth in video images converge across class lines in this murky introduction to the post-communist geopolitical conflicts of Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

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