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

New Beginning

Xamou directed by Clio Fanouraki (Greece) 2017 reveals some of the hidden charms of Crete.


As manager of a luxury hotel, Jonny is accustomed to a world of privilege. His ex wife and three children rely on him for financial support.

His sudden termination, after the sale of the hotel chain and a reshuffle of executive positions, leaves him emotionally adrift. He still dresses daily in suit and tie, but aside from efforts to find new employment, his waking hours are consumed by online gambling.

However, his life slowly changes from the moment his girlfriend coaxes him outside into the sunlight and his subsequent interaction with local people on the island.

Only two more days remain of the 15th San Francisco Greek Film Festival. While closing night is already sold out, tickets are still available for Friday 19 October 2018.

More information at

copyright © 2018 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Greek Passage

The Two Faces Of January directed by Hossein Aminia (UK/USA/France) 2014 was the opening night film of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.


The noir Sixties thriller predominantly takes place in Athens, with scenes on Crete, and a climactic sequence in Istanbul. It’s based on the Patricia Highsmith novel by the same name.

It screened to a packed crowd at the Castro Theatre and was followed by a brief conversation with the director.

The festival continues with 167 films to be shown over the next two weeks in three Bay Area venues: the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, New People Cinema, and Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

Contact the San Francisco Film Society for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Village Laughs

Counting Happiness directed by Venetia Evripiotou (Greece/India) 2012 was the first of three short works on the opening night of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival. Most of it was shot outdoors somewhere in urban India. It follows a young child who spends most days trying to sell wind-up chicks on the street.

Rosmarinus Officinalis directed by Andreas Siadimas (Greece) 2008 is about an unexpected encounter between a couple lost on their way to a scientific conference in Chania and a mythic Cretan well-versed in the medicinal properties of plants. It set the comic tone for the films that followed.


The Foreigner directed by Alethea Avramis (US/Greece) 2011, unlisted in the festival program, was a wonderful surprise and definitely a highlight of the evening. After the mayor of a remote Greek village receives notice that government services are to be cut at the end of the month because the population fell below 35, he seizes the opportunity to rectify the situation by encouraging a British tourist who stumbles on the village to settle there. During the Q & A that followed, the director revealed that a feature-length narrative with a Swedish producer is now in development.

Small Crime directed by Christos Georgiou (Greece) 2009 is a full-length feature about a young ambitious policemen stranded on a backwater island who tries his best to distinguish himself so he’ll receive a promotion and transfer to a more interesting post. When he recovers the body of a man at the bottom of a cliff, he launches a full investigation despite the hostility of nearly everyone around him.

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival continues nightly at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero (near Brannan Street) through Sunday 19 May 2013. For more information and tickets see

copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved