The Hunters

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Movie Info

A party of upper class hunters stumbles upon a body that has been perfectly preserved by the snow. An inquest begins when the hunters bring the body back to the lodge.

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Critic Reviews for Kynigoi, Oi, (The Hunters)

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Audience Reviews for Kynigoi, Oi, (The Hunters)

  • Nov 06, 2009
    <i>"The fact that he is here is a historical mistake."</i> <CENTER><u>OI KYNIGOI (1977)</u></CENTER> <b>Director:</b> Theodoros Angelopoulos <b>Country:</b> Greece / France <b>Genre:</b> Drama <b>Length:</b> 168 minutes <CENTER><a href="http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/?action=view¤t=OiKynigoi.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/OiKynigoi.jpg" border="0" alt="Theodoros Angelopoulos,Greece,Oy Kynigoi,The Hunters"></a></CENTER> Greek cinema master Theodoros Angelopoulos abandons, permanently, the nostalgic genre of war and suffers a complete transformation of delicate expressionism. The third and final chapter of A Trilogy of History is titled <i>Oi Kynigoi</i>, an absolute masterpiece of a revolutionary cinema that closes a cycle of the events that were depicted in the past two films (<i>Meres tou '36</i> [1972], <i>O Thiasos</i> [1975]) and also of the most relevant ideas implicit in the ideologies and politics that Greece went through the Second World War according to Angelopoulos. With this film, better known by its English title "The Hunters", the director is wholeheartedly offering a reconstruction of such events and alluding the patriotism that, supposedly, the modern citizens of Greece should have. This ambitious task is accomplished through a critical depiction of the guilt and the blasphemous snobbishness of the bourgeois class, a concept that could be described as a poetical marriage between Jean Renoir's <i>La Règle du Jeu</i> (1939) and Luis Buñuel's <i>Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie</i> (1972). With a breathtaking cinematography and a razor-sharp screenplay of patience, <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> is among the best films of the decade. The film takes place during the New Year's Eve of 1976 on a Greek island. A group of bourgeois hunters stumble across a dead man whose body has been miraculously preserved by a predominant, frosty landscape. The group of characters comes to the conclusion that the corpse must belong to one of the thousands of partisans killed during the Civil War held between the Left and the Right because of the uniform he is wearing. When the body is exhumed, blood begins to flow from his body and it is taken to a lodge where the bourgeois members keep it while questioning and admiring his current state. The film was nominated for a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival of 1977, losing it against the Italian film <i>Padre Padrone</i> (1977). Theodoros Angelopoulos has the remarkable and unusual talent of changing his style. Regardless of the plot and the particular genre to be treated, he always managed to change perspectives and to modify his scope. Not only the historical periods are different, but the image quality, the emphasis and the pace adopt a different atmosphere. In <i>Oi Kynigoi</i>, its mysteriousness is such a heavy element that a certain macabre intention can be perceived. It is a collective character study. We are invited to analyze the psychology of the members as a collective entity of lavishness and of the characters in their own, individual personalities. A timeline mixture is the means used, showing through flashbacks, perhaps some of them imagined, each of the crimes and sins committed by the party. Angelopoulos' intention remains partially clear if we base the effectiveness and the symbolisms of the images and sequences shown throughout on the fact that he clearly stated that "in Greece, the ruling class is afraid of history and, for this reason, hides it." This sentence immediately allows us to comprehend, at some extent, the shocking psychological guilt and subliminal horror shown at the ending sequence. The film can be interpreted as an allegory of the political fear insultingly held by a post-war Right movement. We are not precisely invited to belong to a particular political ideology, but the genius of Angelopoulos transforms <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> into a nearly surrealistic experience, touching both the realms of symbolic mysticism and wonderfully shot stillness. Applying a very intelligent use of peace and desperate silence, the true horrors of the film start to slowly and unpredictably rise to the surface while the pieces that are meant to be put together are shown in perfectly calculated time lapses. Besides hiding "guilt", they party. They party and celebrate a war that has ended, ignoring that they should face an inner struggle caused by their own actions, especially considering the senselessness of their decision. More than a political film, it is an attack to the senses with a moralistic code of ethics as its main element. Extraordinary performances make of <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> a masterpiece rich in character. The attention to detail is completely spellbinding. Considerably long, single shots are the main technical ingredient of this revolutionary recipe, surpassing the 10-minute mark. The camera work contains the same mastery and visionary experience we had already witnessed before. From places with implicit claustrophobic desperation to wonderful, prolonged scenes of ethereal suspense and vast, natural landscapes of watery beauty, <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> is a challenging ride. Despite its constant modification of character emphasis, it contains some sort of unrepeatable introspectiveness. We are compelled to see the gravest political faults of the Greek society through the most criticized and universally repulsed social class. It doesn't really matter if sympathy is not built towards them; it is not a requirement. If it is seen as a societal / governmental spoof, the film may work on several, different levels, thanks mainly to the slow pace and the exceptional screenplay by Angelopoulos and Stratis Karras. Perhaps it is the sensationalism and the irony that <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> easily managed to contain. Angelopoulos started to show a very characteristic disillusionment towards his native nation. Just like <i>O Thiasos</i> (1975), the film covered a vast period of time, focusing on 1976, yet representing the catastrophic outcome of political movements that had been originated since 1949 and had their highest peak in 1952. Brief humorous moments of foreign interventionism are scattered throughout an unconventional storytelling, culminating in one of the most memorable and tense climax in movie history, a sequence that involves sexual parallelism with the false excitement that the bourgeoisie pretends to experience when belonging to a supposedly democratic, yet totalitarian government. In a particular scene of complete humor, the hunting party and a bourgeois member are shown having an argument in the middle of a corridor and returning to their apartments after shouting their points of view in front of the camera so the next character is able to speak. These sort of comical allusions are what cause <i>Oi Kynigoi</i> to have a very peculiar signature consisting in a mixed bag of talents that was rarely put together before. It may not be an influential film, but it is a complete piece of art epic in scope and unpretentious in its ambition. It is an experience out of this world. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2008
    Part III of A Trilogy of History by Theo Angelopoulos: Wanna know what was Angelopoulos' intention with this film?Well,don't expect a straightforward reply! According to the post-civil war feelings and terminal partition by the Papandreou democracy,the factual Rules of the Game and "America's" be-friendship are valid,but who yelled for any "foreign" aid?Maybe the film does circulate in a vicious historical trap,and here's how Theo achieves his scope,in a "we shouldn't care of any of the WWII results,we might as well have died by our own comrades a few years later" quota and alas,that small company,from past to future,looks as if hope was finalized by the regimes,the revolutions,the duplicate,governmental allusions...
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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