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on 2 August 2006
With this production, Cacoyannis has achieved his best ever performance and has shown his directing genius; with this film, he can be considered as one of the best directors worldwide and a unique master in transferring classic Greek Drama to the screen.

Trojan Women is one of the best dramas written by Euripides 480~406 BC and can be truly appreciated from the way Cacoyannis remain faithful to the original script(415 BC)and his ability to transfer a theater masterpiece to a film.

He simplified the scenery, he utilized pastel soft colours for the background, he limited the scenery to the bare minimum and he brought forward the characters as Euripides himself indented it.

Cacoyannis has presented the best abilities of a group of exceptional actresses such as Vanessa Redgrave, Katharine Hepburn Genevieve Bujold, Ireni Papas.

One of best ever performances of Katharine Hepburn in one of the most difficult roles, as a queen of a defeated country, a wife of a proud King, a leader of the women, a mother of heroes and a mother of a daughter with an exceptional personality, a proud mother in law and a loving grandmother, struggling to maintain sense in a senseless tragic situation.

Irene Papa has performed extremely well the provocative and proud role of Helen to the point that the viewer might easily develop sentiments of hate towards her.

Vanessa Redgrave represented the very meaning of pride, character, and determination and yet at the same time the suffering of the wife of a hero and the mother of a child that must be eliminated by those who claim victory.

One of the best performances is the one of Genevieve Bujold in the role of Cassandra, in what can be considered as a perfect interpretation in one of the most complicated and universal statements ever made in the history of mankind when in her craziness is able to question the meaning of war, the very meaning of victors and losers.

This specific part must be observed with special attention as it can be compared only with the meanings that emerged from the epitaph of Pericles and it forms the core meaning of the entire drama.

A classic script that became accessible to millions through the excellent work of Cacoyannis.

In conclusion we can return to the terminology of the Greeks that when they refer to the classic drama they do not use the word " see a tragedy " but " A tragedy is taught"
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2010
I am conflicted about this film. On the one hand, it has a phenomenal cast: Katherine Hepburn as Hekabe; Vanessa Redgrave as Andromache; Irene Papas as Helen; Genevieve Bujold as Cassandra; Brian Blessed as Talthybius; and Patrick McGee as Menelaus. On the other, Euripides' play itself is static, consisting solely of the lamentations of the royal female captives after the siege of Troy.

I think it might have worked for a modern audience within the ritualized setting of a Greek Theatre, say, at Epidaurus, with a traditional production (e.g., masked actors, a stylized chorus, and Athena and Poseidon, who are absent from the film). Somehow thrusting Euripides into a 'realistic' setting, outside the walls of what was supposed to be Troy, paradoxically brought an artificiality to the drama, at times making Hepburn and Bujold seem as if they were tearing their passions to tatters--an impression enhanced by their grungy costumes. To me, Hepburn's portrayal of the Queen worked best when she was lamenting over the child Astyanax, or inciting Menelaus to murder Helen.

The performances that I really found compelling were those of Redgrave and Papas--the former in her role as the distraught mother and the latter as the beautiful schemer. Both women portrayed their characters with subtlety. It is Redgrave's understatement of her role that renders her ultimate howl of grief so heart-shattering. Similarly, Papas barely glances at her wronged husband Menelaus, but as she circles him we know that she is binding him with her plausible spell of honeyed words, and that he will never kill his errant wife.

Part of the difficulty of the play for a modern audience is that much of Euripides' script is based upon rhetoric. For instance, the confrontation between Hekabe, Helen, and Menelaus, is little more than a legalistic argument (Euripides' plays, according to Quintilian, were recommended readings for Roman attorneys, such as Cicero or Pliny the Younger.). Athenian audiences, who spent hours in the law courts, were mad about rhetoric and legalisms.

Another difficulty comes from the DVD, which has no closed captioning or subtitles. Significant sections of Hepburn's dialogue in particular become lost. The colour on the transfer is good, but because the costumes and desolate countryside are so dust-ridden, the film might have been more effective in black-and-white (But perhaps this was not the case when the film was shown on a large screen in theatres in 1971).To appreciate the poignancy of Euripides' play to its fullest, if one does not have access to the original Greek, a good translation is recommended, such as Philip Vellacott's, which can be found in Penguin's Euripides, "The Bacchae and Other Plays."

"The Trojan Women" did not win prizes when it was produced in 415 (perhaps because the Athenian audience did not want to face unpopular truths, such as their destruction of the island of Melos, earlier in the year--because the Aegean island wanted to opt out of a coercive alliance--and Athens' consequent killing of the male population and the selling the women and children into slavery.). Without its historical context, the tragedy is perhaps even more difficult to watch today, although its underlying message about the victims of war still resounds with a universal truth.

Available at Amazon.com, USA
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on 25 December 2014
Excellent item as described well packaged and prompt arrival
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on 29 October 2016
The production was wonderful, it had us both absolutely in tears. The story of the day after Troy fell and what happened to the women is less often thought of compared to that wretched Horse!!
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on 15 June 2015
A good film
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on 31 January 2016
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on 5 February 2017
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on 7 March 2012
Useful for comparative interpretations and presentations of Greek Drama. As a Classical Studies student I found it interesting and affordable.
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on 23 April 2009
I couldn't resist buying this because I'm studying the play for A level but this film barely helps. It's so long and doesn't help me understand anything. The chorus are always static so it looks unnatural, the director could have thought of more things they could have been doing. Some parts are so bad that they're funny, like sudden spontaneous outbursts. It's a bit random. It was good to analyse the directors take on it and it's only worth watching it if you're studying it.
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