Topio stin omichli

Theo AngelopoulosGreece – 1988

LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST is a film about the void. It is a film about despair, about the failure of contemporary society. The prodigal father who figures in almost every Angelopoulos film here has evaporated into his mythical essence - leaving his children to become the wanderers in search of him. In the «chaos», two children appear, little Alexandros and his older sister Voula. In order to exorcise their loneliness, they invent a secret universe for themselves, inhabited by their dreams. Every night they go to a train station to watch the departure of a train to Germany, where they have been deceived by their mother (herself an off-screen presence) into believing that their absent father is living. One night they finally dare to get on the train. But their voyage turns out to be hazardous and pointless and disappointing. They confront suffering, physical and moral illness, jealousy, evil and death, if also love - as many ordeals and rites as initiations. Evading the half-hearted pursuit of the police and uncaring relatives, sneak onto trains, hitchhike in vans and lorries, and suffering poverty, rape and exploitation, take a dangerous leap of faith, an eerie plunge into liberation and danger. The familiar Greek landscape - the cafes, the depopulated towns and deserted beaches - are played for a strangely harsh fairytale quality, seen through the eyes of two children whose introduction to the real world borders on the surreal. The film is filled with extraordinary, unforgettable moments that are at once real and hallucinatory and contains intriguing references to other Angelopoulos' films. The children even encounter the Travelling Players now, thirteen years later, without a stage to act on, their costumes put up for sale. At the end Alexandros tells Voula the same story from Genesis that she told him at the start: «In the beginning there was chaos.» The children do finally reach the border, but of course there is no border with Germany and perhaps the river they cross is actually the Styx and perhaps their whole journey was a search for order in a chaotic world. 

Original Title Topio stin omichli
German Title Landschaft im Nebel
French Title Paysage dans le brouillard - Landscape In The Mist
Other Titles Paesaggio nella nebbia
Directed by Theo Angelopoulos
Country Greece
Available Formats 35mm, DVD
Screenplay Theodoros Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Thanassis Valtinos
Film Editing Yannis Tsitsopoulos
Soundtrack Eleni Karaindrou
Cinematography Giorgos Arvanitis, Andreas Sinanos
Sound Thanassis Arvanitis
Décors Mikes Karapiperis
Costumes Anastasia Arseni
Production Theo Angelopoulos, Eric Heuman, Amadeo Pagani
Runtime 124 Min.
Language Griechisch/d/f
Michalis Zeke Alexanders Mutter - mère dÂlexandre
Tania Palaiologou Voula
Stratos Tzortzoglou Orestis
Eva Kotamanidou
Aliki Georgouli
Vasilis Kolovos Trucker
Vasilis Bouyiouklakis
Nadia Mourouzi
Grigoris Evangelatos
Toula Stathopoulou

Venice Film Festival 1988: Silver Lion, Best Director, FIPRESCI, CICAE Art House Prize, Pasinetti Award (1988)

Chicago Film Festival 1988: Golden Hugo Award,  Silver Plaque for Best Cinematography

Felix Award 1989: Best European Film of the Year

«Landschaft im Nebel ist eine Reise hinein ins Leben.  Unterwegs lernen die Kinder alles kennen, Liebe und Tod, Lüge und Wahrheit, Schönheit und Zerstörung. Die Reise ist eine einfache Art uns zu zeigen, was das Leben uns allen gibt.»  Theo Angelopoulos


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