Eternity and a Day

1999

Eternity and a Day (1999)

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Theo Angelopoulos (Reconstruction) directed this 1998 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner about a famed author nearing the end of his life. Alexander (Bruno Ganz) lives in his old seaside family home near Thessaloniki, but his daughter and son-in-law plan to sell the house, slightly damaged by an earthquake. Seriously ill, Alexander thinks if he checks himself into the hospital, he'll never check out. Awash in nostalgia, he recalls his late wife, Anna (Isabelle Renauld), seen in flashback, and he lets his daughter read a letter her mother had written to him right after her birth. Alexander's current project involves completing the last unfinished work of a 19th-century poet, but he puts that aside in order to spend time finding a home for his dog. Since his son-in-law won't take the dog, Alexander gives it to his servant. After rescuing an Albanian boy (Achileas Skevis) from a gang that sells children to wealthy Greeks who can't adopt legally, Alexander intends to return the youth to his grandmother in Albania. However, the child lied, and Alexander is unaware the boy has no grandmother. The old man and the boy set forth on a journey, and the other bus passengers include several musicians and the 19th-century poet (Fabrizio Bentivoglio). Bruno Ganz was dubbed into Greek for this Greek-French-Italian co-production.

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Critic Reviews for Eternity and a Day

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7)

I was moved and captivated throughout its 132 minutes.

Nov 15, 2007 | Full Review…

Its long, fluid takes escort us through space and time, to universal themes and broader topicalities, effortlessly fending off charges of hermetic aestheticism.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Angelopoulos' meditation on the meaning of one man's life is genuinely hypnotic in its way of transcending ordinary narrative.

Oct 30, 2001 | Rating: 4/5

A gorgeous elegy of a film.

Oct 30, 2001 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This is not a masterpiece, but it contains moments of rare beauty and its contemplation of life, death, regret, and memory has a subtle power.

Oct 30, 2001 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Angelopoulos has created another masterpiece, one that recalls such classics as Bergman's Wild Strawberries and Kurosawa's Ikiru.

Oct 30, 2001 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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