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Greece, 1998 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: Pantelis Voulgaris

Highly respected in his homeland - alongside peers like Theo Angelopoulos - Pantelis Voulgaris' It's a Long Road is an understated but immensely rewarding film. Divided into three distinct chapters, the film is linked by the fact that the three principal characters are all reaching a turning point in their lives.

In A Silver Coin on the Lips an archaeologist makes the find of a lifetime when he uncovers the intact tomb of a warrior from the Hellenistic period. This career landmark prompts an unpleasant course of action the scientist has been putting off for some time. He takes a solitary journey to try and track down the friends and army buddies of his 20 year old son who, a year before, set fire to himself while on guard duty at a remote border camp.

A tale of poetic revenge, The Last of the Lesser Whites follows a group of young Ornithologists who travel to Thrace to observe the migration of an endangered species of goose. The trip, in the company of an aged game warden who claims to 'speak' the language of the birds, allows the group to take in the staggering beauty of the region and their ambiguous relationship with nature. When a poacher infatuated with his new rifle kills one of the rare geese, the game warden resolves to pay him back in the same coin.

The concluding chapter, Vietnam, details a wild and drunken night in the life of a middle-aged factory owner who has just been deserted by his wife and children. With trouble on his mind, Mr Tsetsenoglou heads to a rough drinkery, the Vietnam.

Pantelis Voulgaris was born in Athens in 1940 and studied at the Stavrakou Film School. Commencing with his first feature-length project, the documentary The Dance of the Goats (1969), Voulgaris has been consistently honoured at festivals throughout Europe for his work. The Museum of Modern Art conducted a major retrospective of his films in 1993, including such titles as The Great Love Songs (1973), Happy Day (1976), Stone Years (1985) and Quiet Days in August (1990).

See also...


Pantelis Voulgaris' epic is set during the "stone years" of recent Greek history (I954-1974) when membership of the Communist Party was illegal, and repressive governments punished members with ... More »


Greek director, Pantelis Voulgaris, who made The Engagement of Anna in 1972, was afterwards imprisoned by the military junta on the island of Makronissos. During the Civil War following the Second ... More »


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