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

Island Crossroad

Sicily: An Island At The Crossroads Of History by John Julius Norwich, Random House, 2015 covers the history of an island situated along what was once an important Mediterranean sea route. Its past included a large presence of Greeks, Romans, and Amazighs brought to new heights under Norman rule.


It’s long been denigrated by northern Italians and Americans as well because of its association as homeland of a notorious criminal element. However few people are aware of the complexities the author reveals.

Norwich wrote two earlier books about Norman rule as well as numerous other volumes about the region I’ve read and recommend. These include a two-volume history of Venice and three-volumes on the Byzantine Empire. But his history of the Mediterranean Sea remains on my bookshelf only partially read.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

US Greek Festivals

May Day is celebrated in Greece in two ways. It’s a traditional celebration of spring with picnics and family outings. Also it’s a commemorated with militant labor marches.

During my last visit to Athens I experienced a bit of both. On my way to a large park in the north of the city I walked along streets closed to traffic including buses, passing crowds of people headed toward Syntagma, which faces the Parliament.

I spent the afternoon sharing food and drink with mainly young people in a shaded area. A majority of them were Greek, others were from Turkey, Bulgaria, Germany. Perhaps three-dozen of us socializing and enjoying the good weather. A temporary respite for those who still faced a jobless future after completing their education.

In the United States there are many Greek festivals sponsored by Orthodox Churches from late spring to early fall. Below are some I’ve found:

9 – 12 May 2012 • Annunciation • 32 East Ross Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA

11 – 12 May 2012 • Annunciation • 573 N. Highland Street, Memphis, TN

17 – 20 May 2012 • St. Sophia • 440 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY

17 – 20 May 2012 • St. George • 1200 Klockner Road, Trenton, NJ

18 – 20 May 2012 • Nativity of the Theotokos • 1236 Spotswood Furnace Road, Fredericksburg, VA

18 – 20 May 2012 • Annunciation • 1100 Napa Valley Road, Little Rock, AR

18 – 20 May 2012 • Sts. Constantine & Helen • 265 W. Third Street, Mansfield, OH

18 – 20 May 2012 • Ascension Cathedral • 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA

18 – 20 May 2012 • Prophet Elias • 223 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA

25 – 27 May 2012 • Church of the Nativity • 1110 Highland Drive, Novato, CA

31 May – 3 June 2012 • Sts. Constantine & Helen • 60 Traverse Road, Newport News, VA

31 May – 3 June 2012 • Holy Trinity • 250 Gallows Hill Road, Westfield, NJ

1 – 3 June 2012 • St. Nicholas • 3109 Scio Church Road, Ann Arbor, MI

1 – 3 June 2012 • St. Nicholas • 1260 Davis Street, San Jose, CA

2 – 3 June 2012 • St. Andrews • Mission Plaza, Downtown, San Louis Obispo, CA

Dance! Eat! Enjoy!

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Australian Filmmaker

Anthony Maras is an award-winning Australian filmmaker. He’s a native of Adelaide, with roots on the island of Ikaria, Greece. Maras received a degree in Law and Legal Practice from Flinders University in South Austrlia before going on to study film production at the University Of California Santa Barbara.

After returning to Australia Anthony Maras produced his first short film, Azadi (2005), a refugee drama. This was followed by Spike Up (2007), a drama about a family in the drug trade; and, his most recent work, The Palace (2011), set in Cyprus during the 1974 war between Turkish and Greek forces.

The Palace, an Australian-Turkish production, featured an international cast that included Kevork Malikyan, who also played in Midnight Express, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. It won twice at the 2012  Australian Academy Of Cinema And Television Arts Awards: Best Short Fiction Film and Best Screenplay In A Short Film.

Maras also worked as associate producer on Last Ride, the 2009 debut feature film by Palm D’Or winning director Glendyn Ivin that starred Hugo Weaving.

There’s a trailer for The Palace on his web site and a two-minute video interview of Anthony Maras on YouTube.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved