Mimesis at service of justice in the Angelopoulos’ film Anaparastassi

  • Paola Fallerini University of L'Aquila
Keywords: Angelopoulos, Reconstruction, Mimesis, Social Complaint, Myth


A man was killed by his wife and her lover in a remote village of Epirus. The episode, inspired by a true story, is the narrative device of the first feature film by Theo Angelopoulos, Anaparastassi (Reconstruction, 1970). In this film the reconstruction of the crime results as a criticism of the judicial system, concentrated mainly about the discovery of the guilty, rather than situations of economic, social and moral degradation.

Angelopoulos's film was shot during the Greek Regime of the Colonels: in an atmosphere of oppression and censorship director introduce into a detective fiction seemingly innocuous a strong complaint against the social and political system.

Mimesis is here conceived as a reconstruction of reality and also as its interpretation, where the goal of absolute truth becomes a utopia that calls into question the justice system itself.
It is assumed that the law need representation in order to carry out its role: working on a scene that is never the reality, although its effects are real. This short-circuit between reality and representation in the judicial system is analyzed by Angelopoulos using also the myth of exile and return, and relying on the narrative structure of detective fiction, while systematically betraying its rules: there is no mystery behind this crime, the audience is led to the discovery of universal laws and mechanisms, which are not the final result that count rather than the discovery of new questions may have no solution. In this film there are already the stylistic elements that characterize the later works of the Greek director, first of all the distancing effect through which you can resolve the dichotomy between reality and representation.


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Author Biography

Paola Fallerini, University of L'Aquila

Paola Fallerini graduated in Storia e critica del cinema, University of Rome, and PHD Generi Letterari, University of L'Aquila. Among her interests are the relationship between cinema and literature in Greek and German culture, Brechtian cinema and underground and experimental film.

She is author of two essays:

La formazione italiana di Dionysios Solomós, in R. Russi (a cura di), L'Italia vista dagli altri, atti del convegno internazionale di italianistica, Banja Luka 12-13 giugno 2009, Firenze, Cesati, 2010 

Dionysios Solomós: dall’isola di Zante la formazione del linguaggio poetico neogreco, in “Between” n. 1 (2011)


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How to Cite
Fallerini, P. (2012). Mimesis at service of justice in the Angelopoulos’ film <i>Anaparastassi</i&gt;. Between, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/426
Narratives on Law, Narratives in Law