Iphigenia (1977) Review

A movie poster featuring Irene Papas in Michael Cacoyannis’ 1977 film, "Iphigenia".

Iphigenia (1977)
Movie Review

Reviewed by DJ Hadoken

Though I am not particularly a fan of movies from the 1970s (I personally cannot stand the background music and the audio quality of movies from that period), I liked Iphigenia, which says a lot.

I heard from a few people that the actors didn’t actually sound Greek, though I have never really heard much spoken Greek, so I could not tell the difference. It also felt interesting to hear the names of characters pronounced. The language and the Greek actors set the mood for the movie very well, it made it feel more “authentic”.

The only drawback was that nobody bothered to make the ancient Greek ruins look less like ruins, so it made it seem as if the ancient Greeks had built everything to look already... ruined. Despite that, the movie helped to better visualize the mental images I had previously created within myself regarding ancient Greece.

Though I had also heard a few criticisms concerning the acting, I thought the acting was done very well. It was also interesting to observe Odysseus from another perspective, where he was not as glorified as he was in The Odyssey.

Another minor drawback of the movie, which may have been due to subtitling mistakes, was the inconsistent portrayal (or lack) of the Greek gods. At one point, the subtitles would depict the characters speaking about multiple gods and then at other times the characters seemed to be making many comments that were Abrahamic and monotheistic in nature. However, I cannot speak Greek so I do not know if they were actually saying these things or if the people who did the subtitles were taking their own creative liberties.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the whole of the movie was not affected. As I had never heard the story of Iphigenia before, I was very interested throughout the movie to see what would happen next, which made the movie very enjoyable.


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