abdel ibrahim’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m convinced—Theodore Angelopoulos is one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived. If Eternity and a Day was his Mirror, then The Travelling Players is Angelopoulos’ Andrei Rublev. At this point, it’s fair to compare him with Tarkovsky.
The Travelling Players (O Thiasos) tells the story of a group of actors making their way through World War II Greece. Spanning over 10 years, Angelopoulos carefully and meticulously crafts an eloquent epic that takes us on the historic journey along with its characters. It clocks in at just under 4 hours, but it is one of those films that I never wanted to end; luckily, the film is piled on with incredible amounts of rich subtext, so the more I think about the events in the film, the more I realize about what Angelopoulos has to say.
The way silence was utilized with the, once again, masterful imagery and camerawork—Angelopoulos is just showing off at this point. Just like his other films, the idyllic technicality he brings doesn’t separate itself from the events of the film. It enhances, even carries the intense robustness of the script. The film itself doesn’t include a whole lot of dialogue, and the fact that he pulls it off near flawlessly with a runtime as long as 4 hours is mind-boggling.