Greece Cinema

by | January 25, 2022

The cinema makes its appearance in Greece in 1897, but it is from 1909 that some theaters open and there is a regular production of fiction. The two production houses Asty Film and Athina Film are particularly active. In 1912 C. Bachatoris made his first feature film, Golfo, a literary melodrama with a theatrical structure.

The Greek-Turkish war (1919-22) curbs the impulses of the nascent industry, which can expand only at the end of the 1920s. A positive boost comes from the production company Dag Film, chaired by the director and producer D. Gaziadis, which creates pleasant musical comedies, melodramas and literary-inspired dramas. The privileged source is, obviously, the classic tragedy: Gaziadis himself signed Prometheus chained in 1927.

However, the production soon took on increasingly popular tones, and the advent of the Second World War did not allow Greek cinema to renew its themes.

Only at the end of the 1950s did something start to move again: new authors emerge who quickly became the spokespersons of a strongly poetic neorealism. It is worth mentioning D. Dimopulos (b.1921), Greece Grigoris (b.1919), A. Damianòs (b.1921), M. Kakoghiannis (b.1922), the latter being the only one whose fame goes beyond national borders. The dictatorial regime silenced them, so that Greek cinema, already scarcely known abroad, fell into oblivion for many years. We start talking about it again in the early seventies, above all thanks to the works of Th. Anghelòpulos (see in this Appendix), undoubtedly the highest voice in Hellenic cinema; but Anghelòpulos remains an isolated case in the panorama of Greek cinema, since the dictatorship and later the slow reconstruction did not favor the emergence of a new, authoritative generation of filmmakers. Among the directors, however, noted after the collapse of the regime, the names of N. Kanakis, Greece Panussopulos, M. Manussakis, P. Vùlgaris, T. Rentzìs, N. Nikolaidi, N. Kanukidis, Greece Smaragdis, Greece Kossas, N. Kunduros, T. Psarràs, K. Sfikas. The advent of M. Merkuri at the Ministry of Culture in 1981 favored the consolidation of the technical and professional structures of Greek cinema, which, moreover, has had few opportunities to establish itself on the international scene. It remains to be mentioned N. Papatakis, active in France and the United States, and S. Tornes, author of research films.

Greece Cinema