Human Condition

Vivere directed by Francesca Archibugi (Italy) 2019 revolves around a modern middle class Italian family.


Ongoing challenges include economic realties and unfulfilled career aspirations as well as the fragile nature of personal relationships.

This family continues to live beyond its means by drawing on questionable familial resources and the tensions trigger frequent asthma attacks in its youngest member.

The sexual proclivities of the husband seem typical as are the reactions of the young Irish au pair, somewhat surprising in the current era of moral scrutiny drawing attention to ways men frequently take advantage of women.

Vivere was one of the narrative features of the recently concluded Cinema Italian Style mini movie festival at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Lausanne Legacy

Political cartoonist Soloúp (Antonis Nikolopoulos) is the author of Aivali, a historical graphic novel recounting the tragic events in the Aegean region a century ago. Originally published in Greece and translated into Turkish, this wonderful book is now available in English from Somerset Hall Press,


The Treaty Of Lausanne, after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), set the terms for peace and included mandatory resettlement of Christians from Anatolia to The Kingdom Of Greece and Muslims from Greece to the Turkish Republic.

At the time it was promoted as the most humane solution to the outbreaks of violence between Greeks and Turks but neither peoples fully supported the forced uprooting of an estimated one and a half million Christians and half a million Muslims from their ancestral homes.

Aivali was a Greek village before the exchange and the home of Turkish refugees from Hania, Crete afterwards.

Soloúp includes the personal stories of three Greek writers and a Turkish writer who suffered through that difficult time and managed to survive. He speculates about the future possibilities of better relations between historically hostile groups.

The author maintains a positive perspective on life despite the many obstacles to peace that still remain in the world. I was touched by his beautiful creative work.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Italian Cinema

Luce Cinecitta and The Italian Cultural Institute Of San Francisco present a weekend of contemporary films 22–24 November 2019 at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco.


The eight features scheduled are: The Traitor directed by Marco Bellocchio (Italy/France/Germany/Brazil) 2019, The Invisible Witness directed by Stefano Mordini (Italy) 2018, Vivere directed by Francesca Archibugi (Italy) 2019, Volare directed by Gabriele Salvatores (Italy) 2019, The First King: Birth of an Empire directed by Matteo Rovere (Italy) 2019, Food Makers directed by Enrica Cavalli (Italy) 2018, The Vice of Hope directed by Edoardo De Angelis (Italy) 2018, and Ordinary Happiness directed by Daniele Luchetti (Italy) 2019.

For more information contact Italian Cultural Institute.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Border Crossing

Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides (Cyprus) 2018 is a bittersweet comedy with heart.


Just days before his departure from Cyprus for a better life abroad, Yiannis’ dog Hendrix escapes and runs across the buffer zone dividing the Greek and Turkish sections of the divided island nation.

The challenge of getting his dog back leads to several unexpected encounters that illuminate an unfortunate situation with no easy solutions.

Smuggling Hendrix was the delightful closing night film of the 16th San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Brief Interlude

Frankie directed by Ira Sachs (France/Portugal) 2019 stars Isabelle Huppert.


A woman invites family and friends to a final time together to a picturesque site on the Portuguese Riviera, just west of the capital.

She seems resigned to what lies ahead for her but most of the others are either engaged in troubled relationships or are disturbed by their lack of romantic involvement.

Frankie moves through the day with calm and dignity observing other members of the extended family.

There is also stunning scenery of the area.

The film begins its theatrical run in the Bay Area 1 November 2019.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Island Utopia

In This Land Nobody Knew How To Cry directed by Giorgos Panousopoulos (Greece) 2018 is a virtual kick in the balls of neoliberalism.


A troika of technocrats from the European Parliament is on a mission to assess the conditions of an island in the Aegean whose population is slated to be relocated in order to reduce state expenses and maximize profits in the economic sector.

The long title of the film is a parody of another title, The Island Where People Forget To Die, used to describe life on Ikaria, one of several Blue Zone communities. Fitting since it was the location chosen for the film production.

Ikaria has long been used as a place of exile dating back to the Byzantine era and dissidents were sent there during WWII. It’s known for its hostility toward capitalism. And its thermal baths are popular with many locals and visitors.

All of this and more are incorporated into the story that unfolds on the contemporary fictional paradise shown in the film.

In This Land Nobody Knew How To Cry was one of eight features screened during the 16th San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Two Women

Incidentally directed by Konstantinos Oikonomou (Greece) 2018 and Her Job directed by Nikos Labôt (Greece) 2018 were a pair of cinematic highlights during the 16th San Francisco Greek Film Festival.


Elpida, the main character of Incidentally, takes a phone call while preparing for an intimate family celebration. She agrees to take part in a brief telephone survey during which she reveals heartbreaking news she is hesitant to tell her husband and sons.

Panayiota, a wife and mother of two, spends most of her day doing household chores and serving the needs of a demanding husband and preteen daughter. Her husband is unemployed with few options for gainful employment during the present economic crises in Greece.

Even though she’s barely literate with no work experience, she applies for a job as part of a cleaning team for a new shopping center. For the first time in her life she’s the family breadwinner in a traditional marriage.

She’s a hard worker who takes every opportunity for overtime, nearly oblivious to the exploitation she and the other cleaning women are subject to.

Panayota struggles to balance work and home life until her hopes for a better future are suddenly shattered by circumstances beyond her control.

The festival continues this weekend. Contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved