When the impasse appears round the corner, there are only two choices left. Either we give up and accept that the journey is over, or we go back to square one and begin anew. Fighting the good fight that will lead us to the desired destination.
If we had to name a feature shared by all the cinematic stories we will be watching as part of the Greek Films 2012 program, it would be this constant struggle. The struggle to survive, to be able to dream, to conquer truth; the struggle for love and affection, for justice, for human contact, for freedom, for dignity, for inner peace.
Different stories, each presented though a different filmic point of view; different characters on their personal journeys, with the lens of the camera following them unerringly, all of them wrestling ceaselessly and persistently with the personal, familial, social, political or other obstacles in their way, and overcoming them.
This is the same persistence which characterizes their creators (whether newcomers or more experienced filmmakers), who, at a time when adversity is increasing every day, insist on faithfully pursuing their creative vision, presenting us each year with extraordinary films that give us great hope for the future.
Along this difficult road, the Festival continues to set as its main priority the most extensive promotion of Greek cinema possible, offering Greek film directors a comprehensive platform for the international showcasing of their works to the public as well as to professionals from the international film community, with impressive results so far. Contemporary Greek cinema has claimed an important place in the world film scene, and appears determined hold on to it.
This year’s edition is particularly significant, since the 53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival is dedicated to a major Greek filmmaker, who was also an important fellow traveller of the Festival: Theo Angelopoulos. His contribution to the development of Greek cinema on an international level was decisive, as was his role in establishing the Thessaloniki International Film Festival itself in the world film festival circuit. The tribute to his oeuvre will take us on a journey into Theo Angelopoulos’s cinematic universe, immersing us in the emblematic images and haunting melodies of his films. Moreover, close collaborators and old “comrades” of his will share with us their memories of working with him.
It is certain that, despite the sorrow that his absence causes us, his oeuvre keeps on inspiring and guiding us through the fog that has settled on our times.
Greek Program Coordinator