To Tama: Evagoras' Vow | Chicago Reader

To Tama: Evagoras' Vow

Blessed with a son after praying to Saint Andreas, a farmer in Cyprus (Georges Corraface) sets off for the saint's monastery, hoping he and his donkey can cross the island in time for the saint's feast day. His father, a village priest, has warned him to resist temptation during his journey, a task complicated by the lonely young woman—Valeria Golino, no less—who keeps crawling into bed with him. This Greek feature, set in 1940, ponders the concept of sin and wrings a fair amount of comedy from its plasticity: though the farmer finds himself lying, stealing, eating gluttonously, and betraying his wife, in each instance people try to convince him that he's doing God's will. The slow-moving story settles into pious magical realism in its last half hour, after the farmer encounters a fellow pilgrim who's a career soldier; the man recalls being discharged at the end of World War II, a staggering lapse in continuity—or a miracle, depending on your point of view. Written and directed by Andreas Pantzis. 154 min.

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