Eternity and a Day ★★★★★

''My only regret, Anna - but is it only one? - is to not have finished anything. I left all as a draft, shattered words here and there.''

Drifting in an out of reverie and memory whilst making his final day on Earth amount to something, Alexandre (Bruno Ganz in a performance for the ages) seeks to ease his cancerous passage from this life by discovering what it was that exiled him from his life, his love and his heart, even at one point questioning his ailing mother ''Why, mother, nothing happens as we wish? Why? Why does one have to rot in silence torn between pain and desire? Why did I live my life in exile. Tell me mother, why can't one learn to love?''.

As a famous writer and poet, he has dedicated his life to his work, and in turn never felt as if he had accomplished anything, and the journey that filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos takes us on with this man, is one of existential yearning laced with poetic dialogue and symbolic visual artistry via fluid long-takes in an attempt to fill the aching void on his dying day. There are many little diversions along the way that allow Alexandre to uncover his humanity again, much of it revolving around a young Albanian immigrant boy, who is also in an 'exile' of his own.

Eternity and a Day is a melancholic tale, brimming with humanistic qualities as well as being haunting meditation on life, and Angelopoulos displays a confident mastery of his craft, easily in the same conversation as Andrei Tarkovsky. This is a like a buried treasure that is awaiting to be unearthed, because no one seems to talk about it as much as they should, and that is quite a shame really.

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