The Dust of Time
2008, Greece-Germany-Italy, 122’, Color, English
Director: Theo Angelopoulos
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Bruno Ganz, Michel Piccoli, Irene Jacob, Christiane Paul
Master director Angelopoulos’ last masterpiece before his passing.
In this second part of Theo Angelopoulos’ historical panorama, a director named A. begins making a film about the life of his parents, Spyros and Eleni. Time and again, the love story of these two Greek émigrés has been influenced by historical events: separated from each other during the Second World War, Spyros emigrated to the USA; in the wake of civil war in Greece Eleni found herself in the Soviet Union, along with other political exiles. A. was obliged to flee to Canada as a result of the Vietnam War. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of a new era in his life. These temporal layers are often intertwined during the course of the film. Following Stalin’s death, Spyros travels secretly to Tashkent using a false name. But his true identity is exposed, and Eleni is sent to Siberia where she meets Jacob once more – a German Jew from Tashkent. Jacob stands by Eleni faithfully until her emigration to New York in 1974. Jacob even follows her to Toronto, where she meets A. who, at Eleni’s request, was smuggled some time ago by Jacob’s sister from Siberia to Spyros in the USA. Years later, Eleni and Spyros decide to return to their native Greece. They pay a visit to Berlin where A. now lives, as does Jacob. They come together to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but when A.’s daughter Eleni tries to commit suicide – a plan which only her grandmother can prevent – the evening takes a fatal turn…