I decided to share a conversation in a few pages, the kind of conversation I would have leaving a cinema, conversations that are missing, along with films that are missing. Can art, as we move away from the great ideological ruptures of the 20th century, create a new magnificent content as we move towards the middle of the 21st century? This was the great concern of the 1990s, expressed through an exceptional trilogy by Theodoros Angelopoulos, which won a Grand Prix at Cannes in 1995, a Palme d’Or in 1998, and me at the cinema.
I am not a film critic, but I really wanted to share my thoughts and what I understand by watching these films. I believe that the fact that they were able to create these thoughts in my own head, that they contained several symbols and an ideological content, is certainly an indication that they would do something similar to others who watched them. These articles, therefore, speak to those who have seen the films and want to discuss them, to hear the opinion of someone who “answers them with the same music,” but also to those who are simply looking for a reason to watch them.”
The narration of “Borders” – 1: The Suspended Step of the Stork
With “The Suspended Step of the Stork”, [Angelopoulos] opens up the great narrative of events and reflections on the end of the 20th century, citing a tragedy as the catalyst for this search. Then, as now, people drowned in the sea that others travel, because they were looking for a home, away from what they had until then for a home. With the opening of the film, the question arises clearly, “why would anyone want to leave?” searching for those ignored reasons for the endless uprooting in the centuries of human exploitation. Back then, they drowned because some did not accept them, as if anyone can decide whether someone will live or die, how they will live and how they will die. And yet, in 1991, it signaled the temporary victory of a world where this is possible.
The narration of “Borders” – 2: Ulysses’ Gaze
How important can the first Balkan film, which was shot around 1905, be? In the search for historical truth, in an environment where everyone is trying to force it, “The Gaze of Odysseus” is the narrative of the search for a film that symbolizes it, to be exact, three reels. These three reels belong to the material of the pioneers of cinema in the Balkans, the Manakis brothers, Giannis and Miltos, who created mainly in Monastiri, today’s Bitola in North Macedonia. The discovery of the material and the appearance of the film essentially make it possible for one to look back into the Balkan past, in a time when there were no borders of the end of a century that had Balkan Wars, World Wars, as well as a war of the dismemberment of a country that no longer exists.
The narration of “Borders” – 3: Eternity and a day
The beginning of my own life started with the end of the 20th century, and my first explorations in art and ideology coincided with the ideological confusion of managing the great disappointment that occurred in the last decade of the past century. Additionally, the appearance of films happened in such a way that the first film I was able to watch was the last of the trilogy. I write this because it obviously plays a role in the way I record the interpretation of the film’s meaning, as I have received and understood it. After all, cinema is not just the image on the screen, it is the whole experience, the place, the auditorium, the people, the discussion before and after, all centered around the artistic work.