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.

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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

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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.

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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

www.nikosdiaman.com/

 

 

Greek Film Fest

The 16th San Francisco Film Festival opens Sunday 20 August 2019 at the Castro Theatre with I Am Mackenzie directed by Artemis Anstasiadou (USA) 2019 and Olympia, a documentary directed by Harry Mavromichaelis (USA) 2018.

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Life Will Smile directed by Drey Kleanthous (UK 2018); Her Job directed by Nikos Labôt (Greece) 2018; In This Land Nobody Knew How To Cry directed by Giorgos Panousopoulos (Greece 2018); and Cliffs Of Freedom directed by Van Ling (USA) 2919 will be shown at Delancey Street Screening Room.

Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides (Cyprus) 2018 screens at Dolby Cinema.

For more info and tickets contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

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

www.nikosdiaman.com/

New Beginning

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

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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 wwwgrfilm.com

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

www.nikosdiaman.com/

Free Spirit

Djam directed by Tony Gatlif (2017) France was certainly a highlight of the 15th San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

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The title is also the name of its main character, who sings during the titles and both sings and dances at various times throughout the film.

What the film lacks in pure cinematic technique is more than made up for through its generous portrayal of human life in difficult times.

Djam is a young, attractive, street-wise woman able to meet most of the challenges during her journey from the Greek island of Lesvos to Istanbul and back. Entrusted to accomplish a mission she’s quite capable of completing.

The film is hopeful and celebratory despite terrible conditions in this dark era.

The festival continues through the end of this week.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival at www.grfilm.com.

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

www.nikosdiaman.com

Greek Films

The 15th San Francisco Greek Film Festival runs from 12 – 21 October 2018.

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Opening night this year will be at Lucas Film in the Presidio and closing night at Dolby Cinema on Market and Ninth Streets. All other films will be shown at Delancy Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco.

I look forward to seeing Djam directed by Tony Gatlif (2017) France, Xanou directed by Clio Fanouraki (2016) Greece, Jamaica directed by Andreas Morfonios (2017) Greece, and Polyxeni directed by Dora Masklavanou (2017) Greece.

Contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival for more information and tickets.

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

www.nikosdiaman.com

Greek Film 14

The 14th Annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival takes place 14 – 22 October 2017 at Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco.

Many of this year’s films contain violence. Perhaps it’s indicative of the social tensions related to the current economic crises and the humanitarian disaster driving people to flee the ongoing wars in the adjoining region.

My picks for the most appealing features are Afterlov, a comedy directed by Stergios Paschos (2016) Greece, screening Wednesday 18 October 2017 and Roza Of Smyrna, a drama directed by George Kordellas (2016) Greece, screening Friday 20 October 2017. All programs begin 7:30 PM.

For a complete schedule see Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com