Blood on the Land

One of the last Greek films to be released before the 1967 coup which led to restrictions being imposed on the industry, this tense and superbly mounted drama is set in Thessaly during the 1907 uprising by sharecroppers. Two sons of a great landowner come into conflict over their different political views and their shared interest in the same woman, while all around them a larger conflict is brewing. The film was inspired by the political climate created by the electoral victory of the Centre Union in 1964 and describes a similar social struggle of an earlier period by adopting the form of a ‘Greek Western’, complete with intense conflicts and melodramatic climaxes set against the backdrop of spectacular landscapes. Blood on the Land’s director, Vassilis Georgiadis, was a key figure in Greek cinema of the 1960s. He invigorated the popular foustanella genre (typically, love stories set in rural Greece during the 19th century) by introducing elements from American genres. His films met with popular and critical success at home and abroad, with The Red Lantern (1963) and Blood on the Land receiving Oscar nominations for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’.
(1965. English subtitles. Black and white. 130 mins.)

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