The Seventh Sun of Love

Greece's catastrophic 1922 rout by Turkey and the ensuing revolt within the Greek military provide the historical backdrop for this 2001 drama, but the sexual politics are a lot more interesting. A 17-year-old girl, rejected by her mother for losing her virginity, becomes a maid in the household of a rigid army major, where she's nearly raped by his hot-blooded adjutant. The major punishes his charge with a brutal flogging, but he's less concerned with the girl's honor than his own, and before long he himself is taking her by force across the dining room table. Once the men are called off to battle, the major's wife befriends the girl, and by the time the major returns home, minus a leg, the two women are sharing a bed. From what I've read about Vassiliki, the previous film by Greek writer-director Vangelis Serdaris, he seems to have a thing for soldiers and rape; in this case, however, the sham marriage and the tug-of-war over the lovely young cipher provide an interesting snapshot of the era's sexual hypocrisy. 124 min.

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