The River (II)
Fiction, Greece, 1958, 35mm
Direction: Nikos Koundouros
With Titos Vandis, Patrizia Bini, Anestis Vlachos
The river as the symbol of a border, as well as of redemption, is the connecting link between four stories that unfold against the harsh landscape of 1950s Greece: rabid miserliness, forbidden love, the fine line between enmity and friendship and, finally, sweet childhood innocence. Film theorist Aglaia Mitropoulou wrote that “Koundouro’s antiwar mood is a luminous protest that, like a river itself, flows through the film.” The film has had an eventful life because of the two different cuts which were made: that of the director and DOP Dinos Katsourides, in which the stories are intertwines,
and that of the producers and Yannis Petropoulakis, in which the stories are separate. Following legal battles, the director won his case. The Greek Film Archive will be screening bith cuts.
With his first film, Magic City (1954), he introduced the aesthetics of Italian Neorealism into Greece. This was followed by The Ogre of Athens (1956), a landmark film in Greek cinema. The River won the Best Director and Best Music awards at the 1st Week of Greek Cinema (Thessaloniki, 1960) and the Best Director award at the Boston IFF (1961). One of the leading Greek filmmakers, his work has won numerous awards all over the world.