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STONE YEARS

Greece, 1985 (MIFF 1986)

Director: Pantelis Voulgaris

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 imprisonment. Eleni and Babis fall in love in Thessaly in 1954, Their courtship — hesitant and romantic — is suddenly interrupted when Babis is arrested for illegal membership of the outlawed communist party. Eleni succeeds in evading arrest, and lives as a fugitive in Athens. Babis is released from jail 16 years later in 1966. and they make love, for the first time, in Eleni's small Athenean flat. When Babis leaves for Thessaly to visit his family Eleni is arrested. Although now pregnant, she is imprisoned with a 10 year sentence. The child, a boy, is brought up in Eleni's jail cell, and in I970 Babis is rearrested and jailed for a further 17 years. They struggle to stay together in prison and eventually get married with their son as best man. They only gain release when the military dictatorship falls in the summer of 1974. A moving, finely acted, superbly photographed and quietly accusatory film successfully blending its central love story with a provocative political analysis.

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