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“Identities, Movements, Borders”

19/05/2016 @ 8:00 pm - 25/05/2016 @ 10:00 pm

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The Greek Film Archive, in collaboration with the Region of Attica and the Greek Film Center, presents a selection of Greek films looking into the politics of identities – including social, gender, class, ideological and national identity – and also the ways in which they are constantly transformed, through the experience of movements and journeys, either actual or symbolic ones, but also crossing the borders and the barriers set by land, language and perceptions.

The River” (1959) by Nikos Koundouros is a classic film touching on the problematic of borders, through the exploration of social and national conflicts in the aftermath of the Greek Civil War. The film itself has had a troubled history, since there existed two different versions: the one edited by the director and Ntinos Katsouridis, where the stories are intertwined, and the other one by the producers and Yannis Petropoulakis, in which the stories are separate. The Greek Film Archive will be screening the director’s cut. Later on, Tonia Marketaki’s “John the Violent” (1973) tells an unconventional story of an unsolved murder, in which the protagonist takes on the role of the murderer and the director is uninterested in presenting a realistic version of his guilt or innocence.

In his “Voyage to Cythera” (1984) Theo Angelopoulos depicts the dilemmas and dead ends of “Metapolitefsi”, the period after the fall of the military dictatorship in Greece. The great Greek film director unveils, through an elegy of frustrated longing, the impossibility of the integration of political refugees.

After the New Greek Cinema (ΝΕΚ) and the Greek Contemporary Cinema, three new trends have emerged in the course of the 21st century: the so called “Greek weird wave”, the Greek social realism films, and the post-modern flânerie of Greek women filmmakers.

The films of the first trend are characterized by the transition from modernity to post-modernity and the reversal of the oedipal scenario. “Strella” (2009) by Panos Koutras is a queer version of the Oedipus myth, which caused a sensation at the Berlin Film Festival and marked the birth of a new kind of cinema. It was preceded by the documentary “Betty” (1979), in which the director Dimitris Stavrakas, altogether avoiding the voyeuristic view on the subject, gives the portrait of a well-known Athenian transsexual.

The eternal triangle is revisited in the Greek film Revanche (1983) by Nikos Vergitsis, and Stella Theodorakis in Close So Close (2002) challenges feminist stereotypes and creates a heroine, whose dissatisfaction does not come from the condemning of the love triangle, but from her own existential angst. A “Drop in the Ocean” (1995) by Eleni Alexandraki is another essay on female sensibility and the search of absolute love.

The 20th and 21st centuries have seen the light of tragic forced migration and displacements, from the examination of transatlantic migration in Elia Kazan’s classic “America, America” (1963) to a journey of wandering in the Greek countryside in Alexis Damianos’ “To the boat” (1966). The same theme is explored by the sensitive eye of director Christoforos Christofis, who captures the memories of the Greek diaspora in Egypt in his film, “Wandering” (1979). Journeys and multiculturalism become a source of inspiration for filmmakers in the 2000s, as is the case in “The Slow Business of Going” (2011) by Athina Rachel Tsangari.

The social realism influence is present in both Filippos Tsitos’ debut film, “My Sweet Home” (2001), an ironic look on the challenges of integration in multicultural Berlin, and the “bressonian” Correction (2007) by Thanos Anastopoulos, a film denouncing the rise of fascism in Greece.

The films will be introduced by directors, academics and representatives of the co-organizing institutions.

Special presentation

As part of the tribute, a presentation of the book “Η κινηματογραφική όψη του Γρηγορίου Ξενοπούλου” (Govostis Publications}, by Thanassis Agathos, Assistant Professor of Modern Greek Literature at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, will take place on Friday 20th May 2016 at 19:00 at the Greek Film Archive. The writer Vasilis Vasilikos and Eleftheria Dimitromanolaki, Film and Literature Theorist, PhD from Panteion University, will be guest speakers in the presentation, which will be coordinated by Maria Komninos, Associate Professor, Faculty of Media & Communication, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens and Secretary General of the BoD of the Greek Film Archive.

Program of screenings:

20.00 “Voyage to Cythera”, Theo Angelopoulos, 137΄ Digital Beta
Introduced by Irene Stathi, Associate Professor, University of the Aegean

19.00 Presentation of the book “Η κινηματογραφική όψη του Γρηγορίου
Ξενόπουλου” by Thanassis Agathos, Assistant Professor, National &
Kapodistrian University of Athens
A screening of the film “Nanota” based on the short story by Grigorios
Xenopoulos will follow the presentation.
20.15 “To the boat”, Alexis Damianos 93΄ Digital Beta
22.00 “Correction”, Thanos Anastopoulos 87’ 35mm
Introduced by Maria Komninos, Associate Professor, National & Kapodistrian
University of Athens

19.00 “Revanche”, Nikos Vergitsis, 105΄ 35mm
Introduced by Ioanna Athanassatou, film scholar
21.00 “John the Violent”, 180΄ Digital Beta
Introduced by Ioulia Mermigka, film scholar

19.00 “America, America”, Elia Kazan, 174΄ 35mm
22.00 “The Slow Business of Going”, Athina Rachel Tsangari, 95΄ 35mm

20.00 “The River”, Nikos Koundouros, 110΄ 35mm
Introduced by the director
22.00 “Wandering”, Christoforos Christofis, 97’ 35mm

20.00 “A Drop in the Ocean”, Eleni Alexandraki
, 106΄ 35mm
Introduced by the director
22.00 “Close So Close”, Stella Theodoraki, 110΄ 35mm
Introduced by the director

20.00 “Betty”, Dimitris Stavrakas, 33΄ 35mm
Strella, Panos H. Coutras 91’ 35mm
22.15 “Sweet Home”, Filippos Tsitos, 83΄ DVD
Introduced by the director

PHOTO: “America America”, Elia Kazan


19/05/2016 @ 8:00 pm
25/05/2016 @ 10:00 pm
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Greek Film Archives
48, Iera Odos & 134-136 Megalou Alexandrou streets
Athens, Greece
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