Greek film director Theo Angelopoulos began his career with an interest in leftist politics and a determination to reveal what he believed to be the truth. As a result, his earliest films were opinionated and patriotic. Still, due to historical changes in the region and personal growth, Angelopoulos explains that, throughout his life, he came to trust political figures less and less. Becoming more and more conflicted about right and wrong, finding that power corrupts, and discovering the true complexity of human nature led sense of confusion in the films he produced during the early nineteen eighties. Ultimately, Angelopoulos explains, he lost all hope in his previously held humanistic point of view. This sentiment is certainly reflected in his later films on personal, social, and universal levels. In Ulysses’ Gaze, A, a director much like himself, is the embodiment of this bitterness. We follow him Homeric voyage beginning at his birthplace near the Albanian border and ending in war-torn Sarajevo. This film, in addition, presents all of the people who lost hope in the leftist politics that once held promise of uniting the European people and promoting equality. Furthermore, elements of Ulysses’ Gaze imply that this process of disillusion is experienced by all of humanity in one way or another, especially as we face the end of a century and recognize that we have not achieved our anticipated progress.
Angelopoulos’ distict style is one that allows his films to simultaneously embody autobiographical and universal themes. I admittedly found the film difficult to watch at first. The techniques used by most successful Hollywood directors tend to favor excessive action and sound, “reaching immediately for the climax of each scene” and ...
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... everyone in the Balkans, Europe, and the world.
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