Greeks bid farewell to renowned director

Greeks bid farewell to renowned director

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greeks bid farewell to renowned director

Relatives and friends escort the coffin of film director Theo Angelopoulos. AA photo

More than a thousand people, including leading lights in politics and entertainment, attended the funeral Jan. 27 of Greek film director Theo Angelopoulos killed in a road accident earlier this week.

The funeral at an Athens cemetery was broadcast live on state television and those attending included the head of the Greek Orthodox Church Metropolitan Ieronymous and Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos.

Helene Gerassimidou, who appeared in his Palme-d’Or winning film “Eternity and a Day,” paid tribute to “the poet of time and history.”

Angelopoulos’s coffin was covered with a wreath of roses offered by his widow Fivi and awards he had won in his four-decade-long career. A burst of claps followed, in Greek tradition, when the coffin was lowered to the ground.

Angelopoulos died in a hospital near the port city of Piraeus outside Athens late Jan. 24 after being hit by a motorcycle while crossing a street during filming.

His long, meditative films won him a clutch of top international awards including the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

A director of moody arthouse movies characterised by long slow shots and atmospheric, sometimes dreamlike sequences, Angelopoulos has earned praise from industry peers including US director Martin Scorsese.

His movie “Ulysses’ Gaze,” set in the Balkans and starring Harvey Keitel, won the Grand Jury Prize and the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes and was named European Film of the Year by the critics in 1995.

This success was followed by the Palme d’Or for “Eternity and a Day” with Gerassimidou and Swiss actor Bruno Ganz in 1998.