Iphigenia (film)

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Directed by Michael Cacoyannis
Produced by Michael Cacoyannis
Written by Michael Cacoyannis
Music by Mikis Theodorakis
Cinematography Giorgos Arvanitis
Edited by Takis Yanopoulos
Running time 127 minutes
Country Greece
Language Greek

Iphigenia (Greek: Ιφιγένεια) is a 1977 Greek film directed by Michael Cacoyannis, based on the Greek myth of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra who was ordered by the goddess Artemis to be sacrificed. Cacoyannis adapted the film, the third in his "Greek tragedy" trilogy (after the released of Electra in 1962 and The Trojan Women in 1971), from his stage production of Euripides' play Iphigenia at Aulis. The film stars Tatiana Papamoschou as Iphigenia, Kostas Kazakos as Agamemnon, and the legendary actress Irene Papas as Clytemnestra. The score was composed by Mikis Theodorakis.

Iphigenia was nominated for one Oscar, Best Foreign Language Film.[1] It was also nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Iphigenia received the 1978 Belgian Femina Award, and received the Best Film Award at the 1977 Thessaloniki Film Festival, where Tatiania Papamoschou also received the Best Leading Actress Award for her role as Iphigenia.


Divergences from the original play[edit]

Cacoyannis made a number of changes to Iphigenia at Aulis in order to adapt it to modern cinema, some of them significant divergences from the original plot. Cacoyannis does away with the traditional Greek tragic chorus, originally employed to explain key scenes, and replaces it in some cases with a chorus of Greek soldiers. He also adds new characters who were not present, but who were mentioned, in the original play, Odysseus and Calchas, to further the plot and voice certain themes.

As in Euripides' original work, Cacoyannis deliberately renders the end of the story ambiguous. Though Greek myth states that Iphigenia was miraculously saved by the gods at the very instant of her death, this event is not directly depicted in either the play or the film, leaving Iphigenia's true fate in question. In Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia's rescue is described second-hand by a messenger. In Iphigenia, there is no overt reference at all to this event; the audience sees only the knife fall, followed by a shot of Agamemnon's shocked expression.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 50th Academy Awards (1978) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Iphigenia". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 

External links[edit]