A film-maker, Alexandros (Brogi), auditions a succession of old men who speak the line, 'It's me, it's me.' Tiring of the task, he goes to a café and sees his perfect actor, a lavender-seller. Alexandros follows the man to Piraeus where, it transpires, the film-maker is to meet his father, a resistance fighter (Katrakis) returning to Greece after 32 years in the USSR. The father descends from a huge anonymous vessel to an empty quay. 'It's me,' he says. Not knowing what to do, Alexandros reaches to take the old man's violin case. 'Aren't you going to kiss me?' his father asks. Angelopoulos once again plays a variation on the theme of what it means to be a modern Greek artist living in the shadow of the civil war. The first half of the film, which is told naturalistically, with the father visiting his native village and resolving not to sell his barren ancestral land (now required for a winter sports centre), is suffused with that peculiar melancholy which Angelopoulos has made entirely his own. One begins to lose the thread in the second half, however, when the old man and his wife are cast adrift on a symbolic voyage to Cythera, birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and regeneration.
Cast and crew
Theo Angelopoulos, Theo Valentinos, Tonino Guerra