While working on a story in the border area, a young journalist discovers a divided town bisected by a river. He observes a surreal wedding in which the bride and her family stand on one shore and the groom and his relatives on the other, lost under a cold sky. This remote ghost town has been named “waiting room” by the locals, most of them refugees from different countries, who are now waiting for their turn to leave and start life anew “somewhere else”. In the course of his investigation, he also comes upon an aging, reclusive refugee, who lives there cultivating a field. But the journalist believes he is a famous Greek politician who disappeared years before, leaving behind him many unanswered questions. —mostra.org
Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and critic for the newspaper “Demokratiki Allaghi” until it was banned by the military after a coup d’état. Now unemployed, he decided to make his first movie, Anaparastasi (1970). Internationally successful was his trilogy about the history of Greece from 1930 to 1970 consisting of Meres tou ’36 (1972), O thiasos (1975), and Oi kynigoi (1977). After the end of the dictatorship in Greece, Angelopoulos went to Italy, where he worked with RAI (and more money). His movies then became less political. —IMDb
Already mentioned is the pure spectacle of the wedding across the river, which suggests the absurdity of national borders as an affront to the natural human instinct to create links between people, so I'll suggest another scene instead. A ramshackle performance of Let it Be - where the lyrics, in English, express unconscious yearning for unification - placed against the naked testimony of a young man, whose disfigured arm is a reminded of who he is and where he came from. A subtle but emotionally complex moment that stands in quiet contrast to some of the film's more towering observations.
My favourite film of angelopoulos;as already noted the scene of the wedding divided by the river seems to me to summarise the 20th C . I saw it first not knowing what or who, in paris in french, my command of the language is not the best , yet it made me realise that (obviously?)film is essentially a visual medium, although it is sometimes possible to wildly misunderstand the plot , in the case of angelopoulos the atmosphere was the thing ,
Two scenes that would haunt me for the rest of my life. One, the journalist standing next to the line in the middle of the bridge, his right leg suspended in air. Second, the wedding, divided by the river, divided by the border, divided by politics...