Greek Cinema – Between Myth And Reality

from 5th to 10th March

In honour of the Children’s Book Fair, Cineteca Bologna is dedicating an homage to Greece that includes masterpieces from yesterday and today: works rooted in myth, history and literature, which give us a glimpse on to reality and current events. From Costa-Gavras’ cinema of denunciation to Lanthimos’ ironic thrusts into bourgeois society, by way of Zorba the Greek, Anghelopulos and stories of immigration from the past and the present.


Sunday 5th March -  5.30 pm

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (GB-USA/2017) by Yorgos Lanthimos (121’)

The peaceful life of a successful surgeon starts to crack when he takes a sixteen-year-old fatherless boy under his wing. Between the science-fiction satire of The Lobster and the cruel power struggle of The Favourite, the darling of new Greek cinema Yorgos Lanthimos reinterpreted the Euripidean tragedy as a horror, by dissecting Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman’s bourgeois family with a chillingly ironic scalpel.
Introduced by Greek Deputy Minister of Culture Nicholas Yatromanolakis
Section in collaboration with the Greek Film Archive.

Monday 6th March -  5.30 pm

Z (France-Algeria/1968) by Costa-Gavras (127’)

Never has an incipit been more explicit: “Any similarity to actual events, or persons living or deceased is not coincidental. It is intentional”. Based on the Vassilis Vassilikos novel of the same name, which was inspired by the assassination of politician Gregorios Lambrakis and the investigation that attempted to unmask the politicians responsible for it.
Cinema as a means of denunciation in the form of a detective thriller, in which suspense and indignation keep the viewer riveted. Costa-Gavras recreates his homeland (under the Regime of the Colonels at the time) in Algeria with a stellar cast (Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jacques Perrin) and a soundtrack (composed in prison) by Mikis Theodorakis. A winner of two Oscars and two awards at Cannes.
With the kind permission of KG Productions
Introduced by Maria Komninos (Greek Film Archive)

Tuesday 7th March -  8.00 pm

Presentation of the book La congiura dei suicidi. La nuova indagine del commissario Kostas Charitos (La Nave di Teseo, 2022)
Meeting with the author Petros Markaris, Alberto Sebastiani (Università di Bologna), Maria Komninos (Greek Film Archive) and Phoebe Economopoulou (producer of Ulysses’ Gaze)

Followed by: ULYSSES’ GAZE (To vlemma tou Odyssea, Greece-Italy-France-Germany/1995) by Theo Anghelopulos (176’)
A Greek film director exiled in the United States returns to his homeland to look for the negatives of the first Greek film by the pioneering Manakis brothers. His quest takes him on a journey through the Balkans until he reaches Sarajevo. Anghelopulos recounts an Odyssey in the time of the ethnic war in ex-Yugoslavia, with a number of highly poetic sequences and a degree of grandiloquence. Written by the director, Tonino Guerra and Petros Markaris, and starring Harvey Keitel, filming was interrupted by the on-set death of Gian Maria Volonté, who was replaced by Erland Josephson. (Roberto Chiesi)
The section Le Voci dei libri is organised by the Comune di Bologna and Coop Alleanza 3.0 in collaboration with, with sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture’s Centro per il libro e la lettura and a contribution from Bper Banca. Single price ticket: 5 €

Wednesday 8th March -  10.15 pm

BRIDES (Nyfes, Greece-USA/2004) by Pantelis Voulgaris (110’)

1922. On board a transatlantic liner, seven hundred Greek and Russian mail-order brides cross the ocean, from Greece to the United States, to meet their husbands-to-be for the first time. During the voyage, seamstress Niki falls in love with an American photographer.
Pantelis Voulgaris, a veteran of Greek cinema, gives us this touching and very human costume drama which, with precise strokes, depicts the strength of these women in facing up to and accepting their destiny. Martin Scorsese was an executive producer on the film.

Thursday 9th March -  10.00 pm

AMERIKA SQUARE (Plateia Amerikis, Greece/2016) by Yannis Sakaridis (96’)

A portrait of Greece caught between the financial crisis and the immigration emergency. Nakos is an unemployed racist who still lives with his parents and is determined to do something about what he considers an invasion. Tarek is a Syrian refugee who is prepared to go to any lengths to reach Germany with his daughter. Billy falls in love with an African girl. In this his second film, director (and editor) Sakaridis gives us a solid and disturbing portrait of the social tensions lurking in the heart of Europe.

Friday 10th March -  5.45 pm

ZORBA THE GREEK (Greece-USA/1964) by Michael Cacoyannis (142’)

Based on the Nikos Kazantzakis novel of the same name. Having arrived on Crete, where he has inherited a mine, a reserved English writer meets the energetic peasant Zorba, who turns his worldview upside down. The indomitable vitality of the latter (Anthony Quinn in one of his most memorable roles) finds its full expression in the steps and notes of Mikis Theodorakis’ sirtaki. Three Oscars, for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Supporting Actress Lila Kedrova.