Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Mother's Grief

Michael Cacoyannis' 1971 Trojan Women remains my favorite movie of all time. Katherine Hepburn gives the performance of her life as Hecuba, and Geneviève Bujold, as Cassandra, is a vision unparalleled. The play by Euripides speaks boldly to war as the human condition and its inhuman cost, born chiefly by innocents. This scene portrays the abduction of Cassandra and the grief of Hecuba over a life in ruins.
O God, I called to you. You did not help. ...
Why lift me up? What hope is there to hold to?
Count no man happy, however fortunate, before he dies.
The great classicist Gilbert Murray describes this play as "only the crying of one of the great wrongs of the world wrought into music." Well put.

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