Parallel stories of Eros set in 200 B.C. Nomadic shepherds, plagued by drought, happen on a fishing encampment with plentiful fresh water. The local men are away but will return when it rains; the shepherds stay to refresh their flock until the rain comes. A shepherd lad and a local girl, both on the verge of puberty, start a mating dance. At the same time, one of the shepherds approaches a beautiful local woman, inviting her to sleep with him. How will she respond? She’s married, her husband at sea for the week. Is love forever or temporary? A subtext dramatizes the capture of fish, birds, foxes, and other animals: their fates seem arbitrary. –IMDb
Nikos Koundouros (Greek: Νίκος Κούνδουρος), is a Greek film director, born in Agios Nikolaos, Crete in 1926.
He studied painting and sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts, and was later exiled because of his political beliefs to the Makronissos island. At the age of 28 he decided to follow a career in cinematography. He started his career as a director of the film Magiki Polis (1954), where he combined his neorealism influences with his own artistic viewpoint. He cast Thanasis Veggos, who he had met at Makronissos, as one of the characters in Magiki Polis. After the release of his complex and innovative film O Drakos, he found acceptance as a prominent artist in Greece and Europe, and acquired important awards in various international and Greek film festivals. His 1963 film Young Aphrodites won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival. —Wikipedia
God damn it! This should come with a warning label: May induce streams of tears. This movie is a testament to the power of the cinema to transport the viewer to faraway places eons in the past, yet somehow eerily familiar. It plays out like a silent film, focusing in on the most ravishing imagery. It's more of a filmed poem than a movie. But it's also brutal and savage, it shows the animalistic side of the mating ritual. This movie should be one of the giants of world cinema, but given the general disregard for Greek films, alas, it remains in semi-obscurity. What a shame, this is amazing.
Eleni Prokopiou gave me a Death in Venice complex. (I suffered terribly...haha)
Nikos Koundouros’ Young Aphrodites illustrates the Daphnis & Chloe pastoral as a calm, brutal, transcendental tragedy on the nature of sexual selection & the thrilling confusion of instincts & love. It’s about the things we feel we need in return for giving our love to another. Young Aphrodites is cinematic orchid.