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Surprises at this year’s Athens Dance Festival May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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This year’s Athens International Dance Festival has many surprises in store. The festival, organized by the City of Athens for the fourth consecutive year, will run July 1 to 14 at the Technopolis Arts Complex.

The festival will feature performances by top modern dance companies such as the Phoenix Dance Theater and the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve in their first appearances in Greece, as well as the latest works by Greek artists Antonis Foniadakis, Yiannis Mandafounis and Katerina Skiada. Also in store is a choreography by Japan’s award-winning Saburo Teshigawara and a production by Toula Limnaios, a Greek choreographer who lives abroad and will present her work in Greece for the first time. Margo Perdiki-Archondaki returns as artistic director.

The festival will kick off on July 1 and 2, with performances by the Phoenix Dance Theater. One of Great Britain’s top modern dance companies, the group will stage Henry Oguike’s «Signal» Darshan Singh Bhuller’s «Laal» and Javier de Frutos’s «Nopalitos» Richard Siegal and The Bakery will follow with «If/Then» on July 4 and 5. On July 7 and 8, Israel’s Niv Sheinfeld, former member of the Liat Dror & Nir Ben-Gal Co, will present «Covariance» and «Don Quixote».

At the same time, Yiannis Mandafounis in collaboration with Katerina Skiada and Anastassis Gouliaris will stage «Human Dimensions» a production which, according to Mandafounis, explores the possibilities of returning to natural simplicity through creativity.

Toula Limnaios will be next, on July 10 and 11. Born in Greece, Limnaios grew up in Brussels, where she studied dance. She has been working as an independent choreographer since 1996. The same year she founded a company, the cie, with Ralf R. Ollertz. In Gazi, she will present «Short Stories» two duets and a solo based on many short and very personal stories.

Athens’s Fourth International Dance Festival will close on July 13 and 14 with the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve. The company is equipped with some extraordinary dancers, who can render the work of four different choreographers with the same precision. Hence, the program will consist of choreographies by Japan’s Saburo Teshigawara, known for his particularly aesthetic approach to both the kinetic and the visual portions of the choreographies. Others include the rising talent Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, the gifted French choreographer Michel Kelemenis and Antonis Foniadakis, whose work is already known to the Greek public.

During the shows, the festival will allow, for the first time, young Greek artists, graduates of dance schools, to present their choreographic work. Dancers and students can attend the educational seminars, which the guest choreographers will conduct.

For further information > tel 210 3235353.

Caravaggio at the Cycladic Art Museum May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Caravaggio and his followers at the Cycladic Art Museum

Though he had a reputation as a brawler, he became one of the most important painters of all time. Michelangelo Merisi, or Amerighi (1573-1610), widely known as Caravaggio, is the highlight of the Museum of Cycladic Art’s exhibition in Athens, yet another celebratory event for the occasion of the museum’s anniversary. Organised in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Athens, the exhibition was inaugurated by President Karolos Papoulias on April 27 at the Stathatos Mansion and will be open to the public from April 28 to June 30.

With the discovery in the 20th century of several paintings previously attributed to others, Caravaggio was elevated to a place among the great old masters. The imitation of his work even inspired a school of paintings in Spain, known as the Caravaggisti, and led to the art of Velazquez. In this light, the show traces Caravaggio’s influence on 17th-century art, dealing mainly with religious and mythological themes. To encourage a comparative viewing, three of Caravaggio’s works, Raising of Lazarus, St John the Baptist and Penitent Magdalene, will be displayed together with 17th-century works from the Banca Carime collection including a painting by Gerrit von Honthorst from Holland, who along with French artist G de la Tour was one of his many followers.

Breaking from the tradition of idealised imagery, Caravaggio chose to copy nature, capturing a new sense of realism inspired by the seamier side of life. He often used figures from the streets, vagrants and prostitutes, for his models. His other innovation was the heightening of dramatic effect through the often artificial juxtaposition of light and shadow, the so-called chiaroscuro.

Patras City 2006 Cultural Capital of Europe May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece Mainland, Patras Caltural Capital 2006.
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A year of events in Patras, Greece

Travelers should consider going out of their way in 2006 to partake of Patras, Greece’s gateway to the West, during its reign as the European Cultural Capital. This annual honor, passed from city to city since 1985, confers upon Patras the opportunity to shake off its reputation as a mere transit point, a post of dubious distinction it has held ever since the poet Byron first touched Greek soil here but went on to greater glories elsewhere.

Visitors to Patras, Greece’s second largest port and third largest city, are often as hurried as Byron as they fight the traffic snarls and one-way streets while in transit for more popular sights in the Peloponnese. In short, Patras gets a bad rap most of the time, except in the weeks leading up to Lent, when Patras comes into its glory by staging Greece’s supreme Carnival.

In 2006, however, Patras is staging not only a Carnival to surpass all its previous street celebrations, but a yearlong banquet of cultural and artistic events, many with an international flavor. Its city fathers have divided 2006 into eight themed cycles, each a festival in its own right, each a reason to linger in Patras.

Opening Days (Jan. 10-21)

Patras sets the stage for its celebrations with a “Labyrinth of Pictures” mounted in seven themed galleries at the Old Arsakeion School. Each “room-stop” in the gallery is a step through Patras’ history. The exhibit employs cinematic images and previously unpublished materials to open new perspectives on the city’s heritage.

Concurrent is the inauguration of a major exhibit, “Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist,” which features hands-on working models of some of da Vinci’s most famous inventions, from clocks to flying machines.

Carnival Days (Jan. 21-March 5)

Carnival has been Patras’ chief tourist attraction for decades, a street party that engulfs the city in costumes and revelry for weeks. Pre-Lenten costume balls date back to the 1840s among the merchant houses, with street celebrations beginning in the early 1870s when the women of the city appeared unescorted, masked and dressed in black, on the prowl for a night out, a Patras tradition known as “Bourboulia” that continues to this day.

In 2006, Carnival will stretch out to cover five weeks, its chariot parades and costume parties culminating in fireworks and the burning of King Carnival at the harbor on the evening of March 4, the Sunday before “clean Monday” when Lent begins on the Greek calendar.

Among special events devised to lend an international flavor to Carnival are performances by the Cabaret Toulouse-Lautrec jazz duo from Brazil and the National Acrobatic Troupe from China. Italian music director Giovanni Mauriello pays tribute to the 17th Century singers of Naples Feb. 11-12. Local spice will be provided by the Carnival Atelier’s masked actors performing scenes from Rabelais’ “Gargantua and Pantagruel” in the streets and by the Ionian Theatre’s “Unethical Poetry” project in which roving performers and acrobats will entertain and sometimes accost passersby with sarcastic and risque jokes.

Concurrent with Carnival is “The Mask and Politics,” a project enabling 51 cartoonists from America, Europe and Greece to create cartoons with a message. Their cartoon panels will be enlarged and displayed throughout the city.

On March 1 and 2, as Carnival veers toward its climax, the First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra, fashioning its instruments from fresh carrots, cucumbers and pumpkins in lieu of drums and guitars, tosses aside serious music. On the same two days, 10 gigantic dolls will dance as part of the “Music Theatre in the Streets” project on the Gerokostopoulou Stairs in the old part of town.

Days of Poetry and Music (April 27-May 11)

Following the fury of Carnival, Patras focuses on words and music with a number of performances uniting poets, including Greece’s own Yannis Ritsos, and musicians, such as Polish flutist Iwona Glinka. A multimedia presentation of women’s poetry is set for May 2 at the Theatre of Patras.

Contemporary Approaches to Ancient Drama (May 19-June 4)

The fourth cycle of Patras’ cultural celebration centers on the masters of ancient Greek drama, given new and very modern treatment on the city’s stages. On May 19, Patras premieres a new version of Aeschylus’ “Choephori,” directed by Lee Breuer with an all-woman cast. There are subsequent performances of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex,” using a “nihilistic” approach; Euripides’ “Medea,” where the chorus is put to radical uses; and Aeschylus’ “Prometheus in Chains,” focusing on resistance to tyranny.

French choreographer Joelle Bouvier’s “Fureurs,” an interpretation of the drama of Antigone, epitomizes the contemporary and experimental stagings that Patras plans: in this performance, actors from Greece, Spain, France, Korea and New Zealand speak no lines, relying solely on dance and movement to convey the play’s universal message.

Traveling (end of June to mid-September)

In recent years Patras has staged a two-month summer international festival of music and dance. In 2006, this annual festival will become part of a larger cycle devoted to the performing arts that sends audiences “traveling” from Patras and the Ionian countryside to Europe and the Americas.

Summer visitors to Patras will be entertained when Latin American guitarist Manuel Barrueco and Cuarteto Latinoamericano team up July 31. Later, Azerbaijani jazz pianist Aziza Mustafa Zadeh and piano virtuoso Ivo Pogorelich are slated to give concerts. Isabel Allende is supervising a “Trip to the End of the World,” a multimedia tribute to freedom incorporating the voices of Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende.

Classical music fans will have an opportunity to attend the opening concert of the Camerata Friends of Music Orchestra as it launches a worldwide tour in celebration of the International Mozart Year under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner. Mozart will also be on the mind of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as she celebrates her 30th year on stage with a concert at the University of Patras on Aug. 30. Mstislav Rostropovitch will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra of Lithuania, with soloist Julian Rachlin on violin, at the ancient Roman Odeion July 19.

A touring cinema project will revive a pre-television tradition by bringing 20 films to remote rural communities in the heat of the summer nights, while during two hot weeks, July 15-30, a “crystal city” of ice will be created in the industrial section of Patras by dancer and installation artist Emilia Bouriti.

Days of Religion and the Arts (November)

The largest Orthodox cathedral in Greece is at Patras. Dedicated to St. Andrew, the apostle of Greece who was martyred in Patras in AD 60, the cathedral houses his relics and skull. St. Andrew is not only the patron saint of Greece in general and Patras in particular, but of Scotland, too, and the spiritual cycle of Patras’ cultural celebration in 2006 is both intensely Greek and widely ecumenical.

The Greek Byzantine Orchestra will present the canticles of the saint Nov. 1. Later the Glinka Choir of St. Petersburg, the Hilliard Ensemble vocal quartet of England and the choir of St. Andrew Cathedral will perform religious music at the big cathedral and shrines. On Nov. 15 the Solistes de Lyon chorus, the Chamber Music Orchestra of Stockholm and soloists under the direction of Bernard Teto will present Mozart’s Requiem.

Children’s Art Days (Dec. 1-31)

The final major cycle of the arts in Patras is intended to be the largest art festival for children ever held in Greece. At its heart is a concert, “The Most Beautiful Flower in the World,” fashioned from four fairy tales, including “The Brave Tin Soldier” by Hans Christian Andersen. With a score by Emilio Aragon, it will be presented Dec. 18.

Patras is the birthplace of Karagiozis, the shadow puppet theater tradition of Greece. Fittingly, the children’s cycle of cultural events in Patras features marionette troupes from many nations, including the Jordi Bertran Co. from Spain, the Obraztsov Puppet Theatre from Russia and the Puppet Art Troupe from China. Patras’ own puppeteers include Pavlos Kavadias, who will perform “The Cat and the Mouse” with hand puppets, and the “Ciroka Puppet Theatre,” with a performance drawn from Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book.”

The most ambitious production is Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” performed by the National Marionette Theatre from Prague, where the opera premiered in 1787.

The month for children brings other performers. On Dec. 15-16, the Ballet Schindowski will set an entire orchestra into comic action with a performance of “When Instruments Dance” at the Theatre of Patras. Later, the British acrobats of “The Chipolatas” will juggle, dance and sing.

Conan the Bubbleman brings the cultural cycle to a close and bubbles to life Dec. 18-30 with music and laser beams.

Closing Days (Dec. 28-31)

While organizers promise to bring the curtain down on Patras’ staging of the European Capital of Culture 2006 with some big events, none had been announced at press time, but this is Greece, where time has its own ineffable essence. The only closing event that has been described to date is “The Woman of Patras,” in which Panorea, an old prostitute, delivers a monologue of her life and that of the city on the western sea.

IF YOU GO

GETTING THERE

Patras (population, about 200,000) is located almost west of Athens on the northwest coast of the Peloponnese. Patras is a major ferry terminal linking Greece with Italy (18-21 hours from Patras to Ancona on the fastest vessels, 33-36 hours to Venice or Trieste). The port is also the gateway to Corfu (7 hours) and other Ionian islands, popular in high season (June-September). Athens is 125 miles from Patras, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours by rail, 3 hours by bus or car. There is no passenger air service to Patras, making Athens the major transit point for international visitors.

SIGHTS & STAGES

Patras is not a treasure-house of antiquities, but it has a modest array of historic sites, some dating to the Roman period, that will be employed to stage performances during the city’s year as Europe’s cultural capital. Foremost is St. Andrew Cathedral (Agios Andreas), a vast edifice near the waterfront built between 1908 and 1974 on the site of several earlier churches and an ancient temple. The new cathedral houses the remains and relics of St. Andrew, patron saint of Patras.

Topping the town’s formidable acropolis is the Castle of Patras, its Byzantine walls and rooms having endured since the 6th Century AD. Even older is the Odeion, a brick theater built by the Romans in the 2nd Century AD and these days the venue for scores of summer concerts. For opera and other classical music forms, the choice in Patras is the Apollo Municipal Theatre, the city’s most elegant hall, built in 1872. Art installations, galleries, readings and drama are often held along the waterfront in the Barry Warehouses, mid-19th Century structures that once housed mills and factories. Two other art centers with character are the neo-classical Old Municipal Hospital, which served as such from 1872 to 1973, and the Municipal Slaughterhouse, which in 1998 was given new life as the Patras Exhibition Centre.

Three of Patras’ most popular tourist stops are the Turkish Steam Baths (Hamam), Venetian-built in AD 1400 and still in use; Agiou Nikolaou Street, connecting the upper city to the old port with lively shopping, eating and nightlife; and the Achaia Clauss Winery, Greece’s first and one of its largest. Dating from 1861, this winery is where the sweet Greek dessert wine known as mavrodaphne originated; the winery’s Imperial Cellar is the place to taste it.

INFORMATION

More information about Patras’ cultural capital events can be found at www.patras2006.gr. Visitor information is available at www.infocenterpatras.gr or from the Greek National Tourist Organization, www.gnto.gr.

Books > the poetry of C.P. Cavafy May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life.
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By day, for some 30 years, he toils as a clerk in the Irrigation Service of the Ministry of Public Works in Alexandria. He is shy, reserved, the buttonedup epitome of the displaced gentleman. In some eccentric way, inhibition suits him as snugly as his starched wing-collars. Whether at his desk or at home, where he lives with his formidable mother or, after her death, with his brothers, his imagination steadily takes possession of history until his own personal experiences come to seem almost indistinguishable from the events of the distant past. Recollections of the Ptolemies or of Julian the Apostate become as immediate to him as his brief, usually frustrated encounters with the beautiful young men he stumbles upon and ogles and sometimes even beds in the grimy brothels and back alleys of the city. Out of these furtive pleasures poems arise, almost always the result of remembered trysts. It is the “body’s memory” his lines evoke; in a poem from 1912, he prays, “Come back often and take me at night / when lips and skin remember.”

In the poetry of C.P. Cavafy, the skin has a long memory.And it is this tactile, almost epidermal recollection that gives his historical poems their disturbing immediacy. Pleasure is always retrospective in Cavafy, as though only remembrance could offer that final consummate shiver of erotic delight. But just as he can commemorate the reflection of a tailor’s delivery boy in an old mirror which he imagines “proud to have held the reflection / of absolute beauty for a few minutes” many years before, so too, by the same quickness of touch he can tremble to the panic of the little household gods in Nero’s palace as the “footsteps of the Furies” approach the ebony bed of the drowsing emperor. Cavafy is the great poet of the aftertaste.

The phrases quoted come from “The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy: A New Translation” (W.W. Norton, 264 pages, $25.95), translated by the American poet Aliki Barnstone. Ms. Barnstone presents all the poems in chronological sequence, together with more than 40 pages of detailed notes (assembled,like some of the translations, in collaboration with Willis Barnstone). Both the translations and commentary are excellent, but you have to hack through a lot of unCavafian verbiage to reach them, not only Ms. Barnstone’s pages of gushing acknowledgements and her uninspired introduction but a silly foreword by the poet Gerald Stern.

According to Mr.Stern,Ms.Barnstone shares in a “double diaspora” with Cavafy because she lives in Las Vegas. But could there be a better place for the translator of Cavafy? The neon amnesia of Las Vegas – and not only Caesar’s Palace – would have piqued the poet’s historical memory. A true Alexandrinian, he savored the hollowness behind all loud facades. In “The Alexandrian Kings,” he describes a royal procession, glitzy with jewels, and concludes:

And the Alexandrians thronged to the celebration,
Enthusiastic and cheering
In Greek and Egyptian and some in Hebrew,
Charmed by the beautiful spectacle –
Though they knew, of course, what it all was worth,
What hollow words were these kingdoms.

Constantine Cavafy was born in Alexandria on April 29, 1863, and died there on the same day in 1933. Though he spent seven years in London as a child and lived also in Istanbul (Ms. Barnstone persists in calling it “Constantinople,” a name it hasn’t borne since 1453), where his family originated, he was and remained quintessentially Alexandrian. This is a matter of style as well as fact. The wry, ironic, almost acrid tone; the casual erudition; the disillusion indistinguishable from clarity; the meticulous eye for the speaking detail; most of all, his indelible incisiveness of phrase – these are Alexandrian traits and they link Cavafy not only with such illustrious predecessors as Callimachus, the learned poet who headed the great Library, but with the whole Greek tradition. It is mistaken to label him an “exile.”

At first sight Ms. Barnstone’s versions differ very little from those of Rae Dalven or Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard; sometimes, too, she seems to be merely shifting synonyms around to distinguish her translations from theirs, especially in such famous poems as “Ithaka”or “Waiting for the Barbarians.” But in fact her readings are at once more literal and more concise; they preserve the succinctness of the originals.

Her translation of “Thermopylae,” which Cavafy wrote in 1903, begins:

Honor to those who in their lives demarcate and guard a Thermopylae.
Never swerving from duty, just and upright in all their acts, but compassionate and sad nevertheless.

Cavafy here invokes the hopeless battle in 480 B.C. when Leonidas and a few hundred Spartans held off thousands of invading Medes at the pass of Thermopylae, the “Hot Gates,” in Thessaly. Betrayed by Efialtis, the Greeks were finally overwhelmed and put to the sword, Athens itself was captured and the Acropolis sacked. In his eulogy for the fallen Spartans, the ancient poet Simonides wrote the (very Cavafian) line, “For lamentation they have remembrance, for sorrow praise.” But Cavafy’s point is subtler.Thermopylae was not a single heroic moment in the impossible past; rather, our lives constitute a daily succession of “Hot Gates.” True glory goes to those who remain generous, compassionate, kind, and truthful, though they know that in the end all the Parthenons will be destroyed. Of these inconspicuous Spartans, Cavafy, who was one himself,concludes,again in Ms. Barnstone’s version:

And more honor is fitting for them when they foresee (and many do foresee) that Efialtis will appear in the end, and in the end the Medes will break through.

This is one of several poems in which Cavafy, like some ancient moralist, draws a lesson from distant events. If he’s never preachy, it’s perhaps because he stepped with such freedom into vanished realms.Awkward in his body from his prim spectacles to his anachronistic spats, he was an exile of time but one to whom all times and places fell open at the lightest touch of a nerve.

Movies > Forbidden love, loss fill “Meadow” (movie review) May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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The first in a projected trilogy by the renowned Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos (“Landscape in the Mist”), “The Weeping Meadow” cuts a wide swath through the 20th century in the story of a forbidden love and its devastating aftermath.

Steeped in loss, exile and suggestions of incest set against Greece’s involvement in two world wars and other homegrown tumult, “Meadow” churns like classic tragedy while its pace is set by Angelopoulos’ trademark, spooky portentousness.

Slaughtered sheep dangle from the branches of a tree; war refugees advance to a promised land in a long, unbroken take; and scores of white bed sheets flap in the wind like an unintended Christo earthwork linking innocence and nihilism.

Eleni (Alexandra Aidini) and Alexis (Nikos Poursadinis) meet in 1919 during a flight from the Red Army’s advance into Odessa. Alexis’ father, Spyros (Vassilis Kolovos), adopts Eleni on the road to Thessaloniki and later arranges to marry her, unaware of the passion she shares with her brother.

On the day of her marriage to Spyros, Eleni runs off with Alexis. Stalked from city to city by the half-mad Spyros, the pair eventually make a life for themselves that unravels under pressures from fascism and World War II.

Angelopoulos’ lengthy drama is both hypnotic and sporadically bathetic. Events, typically, are revealed through a thick glaze of myth, stripping immediacy from action as if we are watching ourselves having a dream. The effect is powerful, but an unbroken chain of misery in the final hour breaches Angelopoulos’ earlier, emotional economy.

“The Weeping Meadow” with Alexandra Aidini, Nikos Poursadinis, Vassilis Kolovos. Directed by Theo Angelopoulos, from a screenplay by Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Petros Markaris and Giorgio Silvagni. 170 minutes.

Movies > ‘Meadow’ looks at 20th century Greece May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos remains arguably the most uncompromising director alive. He makes movies his way – stately, slow, serious – and cares not a whit about accommodating changing styles or times.

When this approach produces a masterpiece, such as “Landscape in the Mist” the results are spellbinding. But even when he’s not at the top of his game, Angelopoulos creates his own world.

Greece remains a prime topic for this director, and “The Weeping Meadow” is apparently the first part of a planned trilogy on Greek 20th century history. It covers many years, from 1919 though the end of the World War II, but with large gaps and much left out.

What there is of conventional plot follows two young people, who are not related but have been raised as sister and brother. Their family flees Odessa to return to Greece, where later the girl is betrothed to the older man who has been her adoptive father. She flees with her lover, but a certain measure of shame follows them around, especially after they are joined by the twin sons who were conceived during their teenage years. The shunned older man also follows them around, like a ghost they can’t forget.

Angelopoulos wrote the script with Tonino Guerra, one of Europe’s most reliable screenwriters, and there is more storyline than usual for this director. Angelopoulos is fond of long-held, slowly moving camera shots, often of staggering complexity, a village’s worth of people moving their boats through a flooded town, or a couple approaching a tree that is gradually revealed to have dead sheep hanging from it.

“The Weeping Meadow” mixes the tragic history of the pre-WWII years with elements of ancient Greek myths, and plays it all to native music. Alexi is an accordion player, and his abilities dictate where the family goes, with the temptation of America always on the horizon.There are amazing things in this film, such as the long, sinuous shot that winds through a dance at a beer hall as profound shifts happen in the lives of the characters. It is a difficult movie, perhaps with meanings that will resound mostly with a Greek audience. But for more adventurous patrons of the arthouse, its challenges will bring rewards.

Greek history: The gifted and challenging Greek director Theo Angelopoulos offers a look at the tumultuous history of his country from 1919-1945, seen through the experiences of a family. Nothing is conventional or easy about the director’s style, which favors long, slow-moving shots, but there are rewards to his approach.

Movies > Brides, a film from Greece May 25, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Seven hundred mail order brides, most of them from Greece, are being shipped to America. Most of them haven’t seen their prospective husbands except in a picture. Most are making the transatlantic journey to escape poverty, war and natural calamities.

Set in 1922, this movie directed by Partelis Voulgaris, explores the hopes and dreams of these young women. Voulgaris focuses on one woman from a small poverty stricken Greek island.

Niki Douka, 25, and her five sisters are single with no prospects of becoming married. All the young men who would have married the Douka sisters have been drafted into the army to fight Turkey. There isn’t much in terms of jobs on the island and the future looks bleak. Then an opportunity presents itself for Niki to travel to America as a replacement bride for Padromos, a Greek immigrant living in Chicago. Earlier, Padromos had been married to one of Niki’s sisters. But after living in America for a while, the sister found life too complicated. She fled to Greece, leaving Padromos wifeless and her family pride and honour in tatters.

To restore the family honour, Niki is chosen to replace her. Together with several girls from Georgia, Russia and Greece, she gets on a ship to travel to America. On the ship, the film explores the fears, nostalgia and hopes of the girls. But the journey isn’t so smooth, with an unscrupulous man on board who forces some of the girls into the sex trade. Then enter Norman Harris, a disappointed American photographer making the journey home. He falls in love with Niki. Shocked, Niki replies, “Don’t love me, I am Greek!” But inspite of herself, she develops feelings for Harris. But will Niki dump Padromos, a man she barely knew, for a foreigner who seems to understand her better than anyone else? This is an incredible story of love in a time of despair.