Made, incredibly, under the noses of the military police during the Colonels' regime, Angelopoulos' film examines, with a passionate radicalism, the labyrinth of Greek politics around that country's agonising civil war. This is done through the eyes of a troupe of actors, whose pastoral folk drama Golfo the Shepherdess is continually interrupted as they become unwitting spectators of the political events that ultimately polarise them. This slow, complex, four-hour film will obviously provide problems for people raised on machine-gun cutting techniques. Editing is very restrained, and some takes last up to five minutes, but the stately pace of the film soon becomes compulsive; and the shabby provincial Greece of rusting railway tracks and flaking facades which the slow camera examines is visually beguiling. The closing passage, when one of the actors is buried after being executed, and his colleagues spontaneously raise their hands above their heads to applaud not a performance but a life, is an incredibly moving moment. DPer.