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t e l e v i s i o n

"Bridge to the East"
Sir Steven Runciman
Award: 23rd Chicago International Film Festival

With Readings by Alan Bates

Produced and Directed by Lydia Carras
Edited by John Veal

Music by Robert Boyle

The Financial Times
A film like Bridge to the East (1987) raises one's estimation of television as an art form... Lydia Carras' exquisite study of the work and study of Sir Steven Runciman shows her particular talent for bringing alive the past.
Sir Steven Runciman is surely one of our greatest historians ... We see him first in his Scottish baronial home, then in a boat on the Bosporus, then wandering from Hagia Sophia to the Sokullu Mosque, lamenting the while that the Crusades, which set out to save Eastern Christendom, ended up destroying it -- 'one of the last, most disastrous of the Barbarian invasions?' and finally in the ethereal setting of Mistra, the most purely Byzantine city of mainland Greece which in a touchingly appropriate tribute has named one of its streets after him...

Sunday Telegraph
"Fascinating and beautifully made programme in which this respected historian radically alters our view of the Crusades'.

Guardian
'One of our leading historians traces the lingering influence of the Byzantine workd on the relationship between Eastern and Western Europe, Christianity and Islam'.

The Times
'Visual magic is achieved by moving from the austere landscape of Scotland to the warm glow of the Mediterranean... But the film is very far from being a travelogue. It is, rather, the past seen through the eyes of one man, and at the same time the self-portrait of an outstanding scholar and artist with words. Runciman is a natural TV star.
The commentary was in the class of the late Lord Clark's famous programmes on Civilisation. One could hardly say more.
And a marvellous commentary it is -- rich in information, but also clear and easy to follow; subtle, evocative and witty'.

An Amaranthos Film

In association with Channel 4 Television (UK) and ERT-1 (Greece)
The producers gratefully acknowledge that this film has been made possible thanks to the
generous contribution of the A.G. Leventis Foundation


tape# 194  SIR STEVEN RUNCIMAN: BRIDGE TO THE EAST

To order call: 800-888-6835

A look at Byzantium through the eyes of one of Britain's greatest historians, Sir Steven Runciman, who guides us from the mosaics of Ravenna, to the beauty of Monemvassia, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, to spectacular Mistra and the harmony of its architecture.

Length 54:00

$29.95

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
8-10 East 79th St. · New York, NY 10021
TEL: (212) 570-3500
FAX: (212) 570-3569
E-MAIL: archdiocese@goarch.org ||| 

A Bates Archive footnote: Quite apart from all of the above; and the fact that Alan does a few off camera readings... Steven Runciman is an astonishing person in a low-key, amateurish English gentlemanly way. When he visited the Mediterranean as a child, it was on his father's yacht (no big deal). When he lived for some time in China, he played piano four-hands with the last Emperor. He was at some point made an honorary Dervish. In short, he is a great raconteur, and this is a LOVELY video!