„The Day of Easter“ by Dionysios Solomos (A PaschalPoem)

Greece’s National poet DionysiosSolomos (1798–1857) was born on theGreek island of Zakynthos, to an elderlycount and his teenaged housekeeper.Solomos was educated in Italy, wherehe studied law and literature, but onreturning to Greece he relearnedGreek, and decided to write in demotic,or common modern, Greek. He gainedfame early on with his ‘Hymn to Liberty’(1823), a 158‐quatrain poem – the firsttwo stanzas are sung as the GreekNational Anthem.

The poem Η HμέρατηςΛαμπρής or TheDay of Easter is most famous from ascene from the award-winning film „EternityAnd A Day“, by Theodoros Angelopoulos(1998). In the movie Alexandros (Bruno Ganz)and the boy (Achilleas Skevis) are on a bus rideand encounter the Greek poet DionysiosSolomos (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), who recitesverses from his poem Η HμέρατηςΛαμπρής.Some consider this scene part of one of thegreatest scenes in all cinema.

Η ημέρα της Λαμπρής, ∆ιονυσιος Σολωμος

Καθαρότατον ήλιο επρομηνούσε
της αυγής το δροσάτο ύστερο αστέρι,
σύγνεφο, καταχνιά, δεν απερνούσε
τ‘ ουρανού σε κανένα από τα μέρη,
και από εκεί κινημένο αργοφυσούσε
τόσο γλυκό στο πρόσωπο τ‘ αέρι,
που λες και λέει μες της καρδιάς τα φύλλα
«γλυκειά η ζωή κι ο θάνατος μαυρίλα».

Χριστός ανέστη! Νέοι, γέροι και κόραις
όλοι, μικροί, μεγάλοι ετοιμασθήτε,
μέσα στις εκκλησιές τες δαφνοφόραις
με το φως της χαράς συμμαζωχθήτε,
ανοίξατε αγκαλιές ειρηνοφόραις
ομπροστά στους Αγίους, και φιληθείτε,
φιληθείτε γλυκά χείλη με χείλη,
πέστε Χριστός ανέστη, εχθροί και φίλοι.

Δάφναις εις κάθε πλάκα έχουν οι τάφοι,
και βρέφη ωραία στην αγκαλιά οι μαννάδες,
γλυκόφωνα, κοιτώντας ταις ζωγραφι-
σμέναις εικόνες, ψάλλουνε οι ψαλτάδες,
λάμπει το ασήμι, λάμπει το χρυσάφι
από το φως που χύνουνε οι λαμπάδες,
κάθε πρόσωπο λάμπει απ‘ τ‘ αγιοκέρι,
οπού κρατούνε οι Χριστιανοί στο χέρι.

The Day of Easter, by Dionysios Solomos

The last cool star of dawn was
foretelling the brightest sunshine;
no cloud, no drift of mist was travelling
across any part of the sky.
Coming from there, the breeze
blew so sweetly across the face,
so gently, that it seemed
to whisper to the depths of the heart:
‘Life is sweet and death is darkness.’

‘Christ is Risen!’ Young and old, maidens,
everyone, little and great, prepare!
Inside the laurel-covered churches,
gather in the light of joy!
Open your arms and with them offer peace,
that the icons of the saints may see.
Embrace and kiss other sweetly, lip on lip,
let friend and foe proclaim, ‘Christ is Risen!’

Laurels are placed on every tomb,
beautiful babes are held in mothers’ arms,
the choristers sing sweetly
as they come before the icons.
Bright is the silver, bright is the gold,
under the light of the Easter candles.
Each face alights before the holy candles,
that Christians bear in hand.

Im Herbst 2017 hatte der legendäre Regisseur Costa-Gavras (eigentlich Konstantinos Gavras; bekannteste Filme: Z, Der unsichtbare Aufstand, Vermisst) angekündigt, dass er das Buch von Yanis Varoufakis “Die ganze Geschichte: Meine Auseinandersetzung mit Europas Establishment“ verfilmen wird. Thema: die erste Hälfte des Jahres 2015, Griechenland gegen die EU. Jetzt begannen die Dreharbeiten in Athen und Costa-Gavras […]

Ulrich Tukur als Wolfgang Schäuble: Costa-Gavras verfilmt Varoufakis-Tragödie — griechenlandsolidarität


Renowned Greek film director Iannis Smaragdis’ new film “Kazantzakis” is scheduled for release November 2017. In an event titled “The Greek Light through Nikos Kazantzakis” at the Hellenic Centre of London, on May, 22, at 7.15 pm, Iannis Smaragdis will present the making of his new film. This event is held in the framework of 2017 as the year dedicated to the Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis and is supported by the Embassy of Greece in London.

The film, based on Kazantzakis autobiographical novel “Report to Greco”, deals with the fascinating personality of Kazantzakis, one of the most prolific figures in Greek literature whose work boasts many translations worldwide, the Greek landscape that molded him, his philosophical and metaphysic quests. Through his existential search around the world for the implementation of the ideas of Christ, Buddha and Lenin in real life, and through his hero Odysseus, Kazantzakis realizes his philosophy of the Cretan Glance: „Life is a bumpy road and one must walk it with dignity and bravery.“. The life of Nikos Kazantzakis is a story of love, faith and strength of one author who survived the adversities and cruelties of his time, making his life’s work live through the ages.

Born in 1946, in Heraklion, Crete, Iannis Smaragdis, a veteran director of successful TV series, has specialized in historic biographies such as “Cavafy” (1996), “El Greco” (2007), and “God Loves Caviar” (2012).

In an interview published in the latest issue of the Newsletter of the Press and Communication Office of the Embassy of Greece in London*, Smaragdis underlined that he felt he owed this film to the great writer – with whom he shared the same birthplace – in order to express his gratitude for Kazantzakis’ work:

How did you decide to make this movie/tribute to Nikos Kazantzakis?

It seems like I was meant to make a movie about Kazantzakis. The house I was born in is only 300 metres away from where the writer was born and another 300 metres from El Greco’s house. These three spots form a rectangular triangle. I feel it is my debt to this great writer -the most widely read Greek writer worldwide after Homer- with whom I share the same birthplace.


Could you tell us a few words about the plot and any difficulties you may have faced, during the filming?

The filming started in September in our beloved Crete and it has since taken place in Heraklion, Chania, Ayios Nikolaos, and then Athens, Aegina, Salamina, Lavrio, Legraina, Southern France and Berlin. I have to admit that we have experienced an unprecedented war, mainly from the vicious cinematic lobby of Athens, as they intensely tried to boycott the film. Do not forget that Kazantzakis himself also experienced the same war from the literary lobby of Athens and as a result both the author and Greece lost the Nobel Prize in literature!

However, the biggest difficulty we facedwas its funding. During my whole life, I have been a „beggar of love“ looking for money to complete my films, but this time it has been a real pain to find the money it took to make this film. Fortunately, there were good Greeks and good Cretans without whose help this movie would not have been completed. The blessed, generous and great-hearted Cretan AEGEAN’s Theodoros Vassilakis, the great Hertz’s Emmanoula Vassilakis, Leonidas Frangiadakis, Managing Director at the National Bank of Greece, intelligent banker and great Cretan, the Vardinoyannis family with their “Audiovisual”, who supported us strongly, and many others.

When will the film be released?

The long-lasting shooting is over and now the film is in the stage of editing and the music is being composed by the great composer, Minos Matsas. The film will be released in Greece by “Audiovisual” this November, on the 23th. The same company released also our previous work, “El Greco”, which sold the unprecedented record of 1,200,000 tickets.

seasideWhat is different between this movie and your previous ones?

I don’t know… What I do know, however, is that people who ‘create’ do not choose their subjects, but it is the other way round …They choose us… And to put it in another way, Kazantzakis has said: „A demon is inside of me but it is not me. I am just the donkey he rides on and he goes – where does he go? The demon knows, I don’t. He prods me and I walk. Maybe I am a Being of a Master I don’t know but I serve him, whether this is right or wrong!” Personally, I assume that the first reason that prompted me to touch this “giant” is my unlimited love for Nikos Kazantzakis, who has been a comforting “companion” to me since the age of 14. So, the less I could do in order to „show“ him my gratitude “up there” was to create this film.

And a few words about the event here in London – what should we expect?

Firstly, I would like to thank Mrs Leventis and Mrs Agatha Kalisperas who gave us the space to present footage of the film at the Hellenic Center, which is part of the events honouring Nikos Kazantzakis, since this year has been proclaimed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture as “The Year of Nikos Kazantzakis”.

Other participants in the event will be Niki Stavrou, Director of Kazantzakis Publications, a great woman who is distinguished for her unselfishness and friendliness and a great pillar of the dissemination of Nikos Kazantzakis‘ high-profile work, architect Mr. Yiannis Tziros, Ms Marina Kalogirou, who plays Eleni Kazantzaki in the film, as well as a representative of the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


At this point, I would like to mention that the event is under the auspices of the Embassy of Greece in London and supported by the Hellenic Tourism Office in the UK and Aegean Airlines.

It will also be an invitation to the distinguished Greek-Cypriot community of London that loves and supports culture, which is necessary in order to keep “Hellenism” alive. I am extremely confident that this film will find great support.

Can you „reveal“ something about your future plans?

The next movie that I will be working on is „Ioannis Kapodistrias“, a film based on the unknown life of a great Greek and the first Governor of the modern era of Greece. The scenario has already being written by Dimitris Pelirakis, a man of unique intelligence, the most thorough ‘connoisseur’ of Kapodistrias’ personality, work and visions. Kapodistrias was killed by ‘Greek hands’, which destroyed also the future of our country. If Kapodistrias had had the chance to organize Greece the way he had envisioned, our country would have been the leading example in education and culture.

* Many thanks to Alexis Georgiades, Press and Communication Counsellor – Embassy of Greece in London

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP6tA2dWmCc]

Smaragdis’ movie “Kazantzakis” at the theaters in November

The award-winning director Yannis Smaragdis returns with his new movie which honors the most important Greek writer and thinker Nikos Kazantzakis. The premiere will take place on Thursday 23 November 2017 in cinemas across the country.

Focusing on the Greek light, the senses and colors of another era, and Kazantzakis’ perpetual Greek speech, the new portrait of Yannis Smaragdis outlines the greatest Greek writer after Homer, backed by a glittering cast of protagonists.

The long awaited new film has already received positive impressions and there is much anticipation for her screening in cinemas. Ecumenical writer Nikos Kazantzakis said that his life is defined by his travels and dreams. These tracks were followed in the film and after a thrilling 6-month shooting trip to Crete, Athens, Aegina, South France, Berlin and Vienna.

The central character Nikos Kazantzakis is played by Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos and the Marina Kalogirou is his partner Eleni. The eight-year-old Alexandros Kambasis is Nikos Kazantzakis at an early age, while Stefanos Linnaios plays the writer at a mature age.

A number of distinguished actors surround the protagonists. Argyris Xafis plays the father of Kazantzakis and Maria Skoulas his mother. Angelos Sikelianos is embodied by Nikos Kardonis, his wife Eva is Amalia Arseni, Ika is played by Yulica Skafida, Zile Dessen is played by Alexander Kollatos, Melina Mercouri by Zeta Douka, Hailemaker is played by Adrian Frieling, Anthoula Katsimatides in the role of “Good Witch” and in the role of Dr. Stekel, a surprise appearance by Nikos Marinakos. Other worthy actors who take part in the film are Olga Damani and Ersi Malikenzou, Panos Skoraliakos, Takis Papamatthaiou, Loudovikos of Anogia, while Giorgis Zorbas is played by Thodoris Atheridis, and of course Stathis Psaltis’ amazing performance as Abbot of the Monastery of Sinai.

Apart from the director / screenwriter Yiannis Smaragdis, also participated in the making of the movie the producers Eleni Smaragdi and Alexander Smaragdis, the French co-producer Vincent Michaud, the director of photography Arias Stavrou, the music composer Minos Matsas, the costume designer Giorgos Patsas, the model Stella Filippopoulou, the sound engineer Aris Athanasopoulos.

The film was made thanks to the support of many and outstanding individuals and organizations. Co-producers of the film from Greece are Nova, the Greek Film Center, ERT and Nelly Katsou. It is worth mentioning that the film is a Greek-French co-production in collaboration with the French company 2017 Films.

The film’s script is based on the author’s book Greco Reference, which was published by Kazantzakis Publications.

The distribution of the film for Greece and Cyprus has been undertaken by the Greek Audio Visual S.A. Distribution Company, which also distributes the great commercial and artistic success of EL GRECO. The film is a tribute to NIKO KAZANTZAKI’s Great Awakening Writer, but also to the recently deceased Stathis Psaltis who made an unmistakable interpretation, leaving his latest artistic print to the film, just like our great actor Sotiris Moustakas in EL GRECO.

Watch the trailer -> kazantzakismovie.com

Greek Easter„I had experienced many Easters as a child, then as a youth and an
adult. But none of them equaled the beauty and emotion of that Easter
night in the village in Crete. I felt bound in some irrevocable way to
the villagers. The church, candles, incense, the beloved face of my
uncle and the stern countenance of the young priest, all fused with my
past. I felt, as well, the mystical presence of the night that loomed
around us, sky, earth, and water linking the present to the mythic
At midnight when the lights were extinguished and the church
was hurled into darkness, I waited, trembling with an excitement and
anticipation I had not felt since childhood. Father Joseph emerged
from the sanctuary holding the first candle, its frail light glinting across
his white beard. From that solitary candle other candles were lighted
and flared into flame until several hundred candles gleamed like stars
on the waves of night.
When it came time to express the salutation, ‘’Christos Anesti!”
“Christ is Risen!”
I felt the words bursting from my soul, “Christos Anesti!”
I cried to Barba Leontis. “Alithos Anesti!”
“Truly, He is Risen!” his hoarse voice cried in
response. When we emerged from the
church at the end of the liturgy, the night glittered with numerous fires
as villagers in surrounding mountain villages burned great bonfires
engulfing effigies of Judas. The night also cracked and echoed with
the thunder of hundreds of guns being fired in celebration.
We ascended the steps toward the upper village, Antonia and
the girls holding their flickering candles. In the house we sat down
to the festive Easter dinner that concluded the forty days of fasting.“
(Harry Mark Petrakis)

by Ethel Dilouambaka https://theculturetrip.com/europe/greece/articles/10-greek-photographers-to-watch-out-for/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=share Extraordinary photographers, visionaries, and committed activists – for a country in crisis, these Greek photographers, whether living in Greece or abroad, are talented, passionate and determined to prove that this troubled country hasn’t said its final word yet. Meet 10 Greek photographers to know and follow. Chloe Kritharas Devienne Paris-born Greek-French photographer […]

via 10 Greek Photographers to Watch Out For — Greek Left Review

Why I set up the Greek bailout crowdfund | Thom Feeney | Comment is free | The Guardian.

As the total heads towards a million euros, I am proud of the donors from around the world. This campaign is by the people, for the people

Thom Feeney, whose crowdfunding project to rescue the Greek economy has raised €630,000 to date.
Thom Feeney, whose crowdfunding project to rescue the Greek economy has raised €630,000 to date. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

You know when you just have a little idea, have a laugh to yourself and then move on with your day? I do that a lot, only on Sunday night, I didn’t let it pass but decided to try it out for real.

So, sat at the table after dinner, I started a crowdfunding campaign to try to rescue the Greek economy. Some basic maths told me that I only needed the entire population of Europe to donate €3.19 (£2.26) to reach the amount of the bailout fund. I included some nice perks for donating, including a Greek salad and holiday in Athens for two, and set up a page on IndieGoGo and a Twitter account.

Nobody was that interested at first, but after a couple of small stories on the internet, the idea seemed to explode overnight. I woke up to 1,200 emails and it got even more crazy from there.

I set up the crowdfunding campaign to support the Greek bailout because I was fed up with the dithering of our politicians. Every time a solution to bail out Greece is delayed, it’s a chance for politicians to posture and display their power, but during this time the real effect is on the people of Greece.

I wondered, could the people of Europe just have a crack at fixing this? Less talk, more direct action. If we want to sort it, let’s JFDI (just effing do it)! On Tuesday, between leaving for work and returning home, the crowdfunding page had raised over €200,000 in around six hours, which was incredible. This isn’t just about raising the cash, though. In providing the perks, we would be stimulating the Greek economy through trade – buying Greek products and employing Greeks to source and send the perks out.

The way to help a struggling economy is by investment and stimulus – not austerity and cuts. This crowdfunding is a reaction to the bullying of the Greek people by European politicians, but it could easily be about British politicians bullying the people of the north of England, Scotland and Wales. I want the people of Europe to realise that there is another option to austerity, despite what David Cameron and Angela Merkel tell you.

The reaction has been tremendous, I’ve received thousands of goodwill message and as I write almost €630,000 has been pledged by more than 38,000 donors. Many Greek people are messaging me to say how overjoyed they are to hear that real people around Europe care about them. It must be hard when you think the rest of the continent is against you.

The beauty of the internet and social media means that a campaign like this can become possible by word-of-mouth and people all across the world can get involved very quickly. The chance to use a crowdfunding site for social good is really exciting and I hope that others will follow my lead in future and start or get behind projects like this. Of course I would prefer that we had governments that listened and connected with the public, but I guess that getting people involved at a grassroots level might be the next best thing.

While I thought the campaign was near impossible when I started, I’ve since downgraded that to merely “improbable”. I sincerely hope that in the coming weeks I, and hundreds of Greeks, will be employed in wrapping bottles of ouzo and sending postcards of Alexis Tsipras out to people who have donated. The infrastructure required to do that alone would be quite something. But just think of the party!

Ultimately, I’m very proud of the people – not just from the UK, Greece or Europe but those from all over the world – who have got involved with this campaign. It truly is by the people, for the people.