A small boy and his pubescent sister leave home in search of their missing father (said to be in Germany), and cross paths with various characters perhaps intended to evoke a nation in crisis; an uncle unwilling to take charge of the infant vagrants, a brute trucker, a luckless troupe of itinerant actors whose explorations of Greek history are no longer in demand. The one person to offer help is the troupe's roadie Orestes, whose own solitude, enhanced by imminent army service, prompts him to play father to the resolute waifs. A sombre, even disturbing road movie, this is no glossy Greek travelogue; endless train journeys and walks along wintry roads lead througha succession of dingy waiting-rooms, grey towns, muddy laybys, and mountains scarred by industry. But the children's slow, dreamlike odyssey also gives rise to surreal, startling epiphanies: wedding celebrants in the snow, a massive Godlike hand rising from the sea to soar over a city. If the overall tone is bleak in its portayal of betrayals, loneliness and disillusionment, Angelopoulos' assured control of mood, Giorgos Arvanitis' superb camerawork, and the kids' glowing performances provide ample pleasures.