THE NETHERLANDS / 2000 / English / Color, B&W / Video / 60 min
Director: Forgács Péter
Photography: Angelos Papanastassiou and others
Editing: Kathi Juhász
Music: Tibor Szemzö
Narrators: Johanna Ter Steege, Charlotte van Dijk, Ad van Kempen Producer: Cesar Messemaker
Production Company, World Sales: Lumen Film
Korte Prinsengracht 17-D, NL-1013 GN, Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS
Phone: 31-20-623-2600 Fax: 31-20-625-4830
This story of one family is also the story of Greece. Using home movies, this film depicts the dark shadow cast by the Nazi invasion on Angelos’s idyllic family life with his wife and children. The Nazi flag is raised over the Acropolis, and ultimately many of the people of Athens lose their lives. Angelos believes he must record everything about this horror, and sets about using all his resources to secretly acquire a stock of film. There are many tragic sights. People are hung cruelly by the roadside. Film often becomes a witness to history—this film testifies to that.
[Directors Statement] My works are travelogues in “time archaeology,” by way of found footage, so-called home movies.
I invite you to journey now to the unseen private history of Athens. Greece under Nazi-Italian Occupation. Contrary to newsreels of the time which either were censored, ideological or used for purely informative purposes (which in my movie are seen in counterpoint) the home movies of the amateur anthropologist—the man behind the camera—are the most perfect guide and “time tracer” for us. While our hero exists inside his own local time and place, war-torn Athens, he is at the same time a filmmaker hoping for the future projection and reception of the secret images he has shot. As a citizen of an enslaved country, he imagines as his future audience a unified and liberated Greece. What he did not envision however, is us, here and now, receiving his message through my mediation.
Angelos’ profound empathy for the misery and sufferings of the everyman, and his conscious, careful attitude as he films the evil events, parallel his own fin-de-siècle patricians’ life. This film proves through its epic power that being a patriot is not merely a question of belonging to a political party or class, but rather is something more and less at the same time.
Beyond this I can not deny the pleasure of the “patchwork-maker” while making this piece for the wounded imagination.
Born in 1950 in Budapest, where he continues to live and work today. Media artist and social scientist. Began working as an independent film and video artist at the Bela Balazs Film Studio in 1978. Began video performances and video installations in the 1980s. In 1983, established the Private Film and Photo Archive Foundation. Currently works as a researcher on the “Private Films and Photo Research Project.” Has received numerous awards for works like Dusi & Jeno (1989), The Notes of a Lady (1991) and Free Fall (1996). Those films were presented as part of the “Private Hungary Series.”
• International Competition | Angelos’ Film | A2 | Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist | Crazy | Days in Those Mountains | La Devinière | Gaea Girls | Grandma’s Hairpin | In Vanda’s Room | The Land of the Wandering Souls | Mysterious Object at Noon | Paragraph 175 | Private Chronicles. Monologue | 6 Easy Pieces | Southern Comfort • Jurors | Hartmut Bitomsky | Bernard Eisenschitz | Ann Hui | Kuroki Kazuo | Ivars Seleckis