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Ancient Greek Women in Film$
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Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199678921

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678921.001.0001

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Annihilating Clytemnestra: The Severing of the Mother–Daughter Bond in Michael Cacoyannis’ Iphigenia (1977) 1

Annihilating Clytemnestra: The Severing of the Mother–Daughter Bond in Michael Cacoyannis’ Iphigenia (1977) 1

Chapter:
(p.206) (p.207) 9 Annihilating Clytemnestra: The Severing of the Mother–Daughter Bond in Michael Cacoyannis’ Iphigenia (1977)1
Source:
Ancient Greek Women in Film
Author(s):

Anastasia Bakogianni

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678921.003.0010

This chapter examines the relationship between Clytemnestra and Iphigenia in Michael Cacoyannis' Iphigenia (1977), an adaptation of Euripides' tragedy Iphigenia at Aulis. It discusses how the mother-daughter bond is obliterated by men's longing for war, plunder, and power. In Cacoyannis' cinematic reception Iphigenia becomes the first victim of the war sacrificed by Agamemnon on the altar of his ambition. The chapter explores how the loss of Iphigenia leads Clytemnestra to renounce her role as a mother. Contemporary events in postwar Greece and in the director's native Cyprus are interwoven into the fabric of Cacoyannis' version of Greek tragedy in order to produce a highly politicized cinematic reception. Cacoyannis references these events in his receptions of Greek tragedy by focusing on how war and politics destroy the bonds that bind families and lead to insensitive political decisions, topics that continue to be relevant today.

Keywords:   Euripides, Michael Cacoyannis, Iphigenia, Clytemnestra, mother-daughter, cinematic reception, politics, Greece, Cyprus

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