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Filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos’ Tragic Death Curcumstances

 Greece’s most famous film director Thodoros Angelopoulos passed away during a surgery after he was  hit and seriously injured  by a motorcycle on Tuesday evening. He had severe head injuries and multiple fractures all over his body.

Theodoros Angelopoulos   made his first short film in 1968 and in the 1970s he began making a series of political feature films about modern Greece: Days of ’36 (Meres Tou 36, 1972), The Travelling Players (O Thiassos, 1975) and The Hunters (I Kynighoi, 1977). He quickly established a characteristic style, marked by slow, episodic and ambiguous narrative structures as well as long takes (The Travelling Players, for example, consists of only 80 shots in about four hours of film). These takes often include meticulously choreographed and complicated scenes involving many actors. His regular collaborators include the cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis, the screenwriter Tonino Guerra and the composer Eleni Karaindrou.

Angelopoulos is considered by British film critics Derek Malcolm and David Thomson as one of the world’s greatest living directors.

His Death Circumstances

Angelopoulos, 77, was working together with his crew on his latest film “The Other Sea” in Drapetsona, a suburb of Piraeus. The film set area was cordoned for safety reasons as the area next to a quick traffic road. However Angelopoulos decided to cross the road and check some houses nearby. As it was dark, the driver of a motorcycle apparently didn’t see the film director, he hit him and swept away his body for several meters.

Accident spot (

Another possible tragic factor for Angelopoulos death was that the first ambulance that was called on the spot had a technical failure while on the road. A second ambulance rushed to the accident spot however life-saving time was wasted. The EKAB ambulance service had to send the vehicles from the middle of downtown Athens, some 10-12 kilometers away, needing at least 35 minutes to reach the area of Drapetsona. Meanwhile some of his family members working on the film set had called a third ambulance from a private hospital.  He was taken to the hospital’s intensive care unit where he was immediately intubed. His condition was considered as critical due to heavy brain injuries. Angelopoulos passed away during the surgery.

Members of the film crew claimed to newspaper TA NEA, that they needed to call the health minister in person in order to have an ambulance to transport the heavily injured film director. 

The president of the EKAB ambulance, a service operated by the public health sector system, has ordered an internal investigation about the arriving time of the ambulances at the accident spot.

It needed the death of a famous man to show the shortages in the Greek health care sector: that there was no ambulance available in a hospital near the area where the traffic accident occurred and that expenditure cuts leave ambulance vehicles without proper car service

The driver of the motorcycle has been claimed to be a police special guard who was off duty. He was transferred to a hospital as well.

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  1. This really is sad news 🙁
    Only positive thing is that he has made beautiful things and those will remain…

  2. Very, very sad. His films are magnificent.