August 18, 2013

Meteora (2012)

Meteora (2012)
Directed by: Spiros Stathoulopoulos
Country: Greece / others

Review: The second feature film by Greek helmer Spiros Stathoulopoulos adopts a simple storyline but delivers a lot of complexity in emotional and moral terms. The film, presented almost like a documentary, skillfully combines sublime images of the Greek city Meteora and animation that serves the purpose to better explain what was going on in the heads of the protagonists, as well as give a better context of the whole scene. A forbidden love story between a monk and a nun, who live in neighboring Orthodox monasteries with very little accessibility, is presented through beautiful shots and appealing contrasts of light. Their doubts and uneasiness can be perceived since the beginning when they ask: “what is humanity?” or “God, do you love the way we love each other?”. All the images carry a significant weight punctuated by strong symbolism that made me think of Theo Angelopoulos’s films, but here in an exclusively religious context rather than political. The profound silences are very intuitive and the scenes are processed slowly but with a firm conviction, making us absorb all the sensations. Stathoulopoulos shows us, not just what happens inside the monasteries with all of its rites and chants, but also outside them, in the fields where plantations and goats are handled by villagers as a form of subsistence. “Meteora” is a rewarding and incisive film about desire, sin, faith, and human conscience, which comes strongly recommended.

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