Scroll down to see the exciting films that were a part of the 5th Edition of the Montreal Greek Film Festival.
2015. Director: Manousos Manousakis. Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes.
Based on the book “Ouzeri Tsitsanis” by George Skarbadonis which is inspired by real events.
Synopsis: The forbidden love story between a Jewish girl and a Christian boy during the German occupation in Thessaloniki in 1942. The racist laws have been implemented and the only place to escape the hatred and inhumanity is a small club, where Vasilis Tsitsanis fills the hearts and minds of people with the beautiful rebetika folk music. Despite the resistance, the persistent hunt for the Jews gradually spreads and suddenly simple choices become life-changing decisions.
2016. Director: Sylvain L'Espérence. Running Time: 4 hours 45 minutes.
Exclusive North American premiere with English subtitles.
Synopsis: Filmed over 2 years, Fighting Through the Night (v.f. Combat au bout de la nuit) is a journey to the heart of Greece today.Driven by both complementary and dissonant energies, the film is suffused with a desire for freedom and the rebellious power of the people it brings together. Whether they are native Athenians, Syrian or Afghan refugees, cleaning women or unemployed longshoremen, volunteer doctors or the homeless, all these men and women, all their stories, respond to each other and weave unexpected connections. By following the people who are struggling to build a different future, this film provides insight that amidst today’s chaos, a new shared world, its shape still uncertain, is slowly emerging.
2015. Director: Marinos Kartikkis. Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
Synopsis: An average Cypriot family sail into murky ethical waters in an effort to stay financially afloat in this alarmingly all-too familiar drama.Υiorgos and Sophia are trying hard to cope with the financial needs of their family of four. Since the family business – a small grocery store – fails to provide them with enough income, the grandfather chips in with a share of his pension.
But then, suddenly, grandfather dies in his sleep. The desperate family choose to hide his death in order to continue collecting his pension, even when social security are knocking on their door…
2015. Director: Yorgos Gkikapeppas. Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes.
Synopsis: A young opera singer in her final year of studies in Poland is struck by a mysterious affliction that renders her unable to speak. She returns to her intellectual family in Greece but finds they treat her – and her silence – with hostility. She detaches herself and retreats into an isolated world where she spirals into the darkness of the past.
2016. Director: Yannis Sakaridis. Running Time: 1 hour 22 minutes.
Synopsis: An unemployed disgruntled Greek nationalist in Athens has his world turned upside down when his apartment building and beloved city park become a home and resting stop for migrants in transit across Europe. There, refugees searching for a new life must navigate the seedier elements of Greek society to survive. Mixing a kinetic visual style with ripped from the headlines storytelling, Amerika Square is an unflinching look at the mass migration economy—where “borders are business.”
2016. Director: Daphne Matziaraki. Running Time: 26 minutes.
Synopsis: In 4.1 miles (which represents how far the Greek island of Lesbos lies off the Turkish coast), the director’s camera, unaccompanied by narration, takes the audience on board a single coast guard boat in Lesbos, where the steadfast captain, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, works in the heart of a nightmare. In the course of a single day, the film follows his tiny crew’s response to emergency calls in rough waters where they find terrified, freezing families, many with small children, waiting for rescue.
2017. Director: Babis Tsokas. Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes.
Synopsis: Our Maria Callas is a dramatized documentary, highlighting the Hellenic origins of the great diva of opera and reinforces the message that Greece is still home to many gifted music and film personalities.
2015. Director: Christopher Papakaliatis. Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes.
Synopsis: A deeply tender tale of cross-continental love set in modern day Greece, Worlds Apart is comprised of three separate narratives each following a love story between a foreigner and a Greek. Each story represents a different generation falling in love during a time of socioeconomic turmoil that dominates Southern Europe overall, only to connect as a single story in the end in a way we never anticipate. With an abundance of affection, humour and gravitas, each story climbs its climactic mountain before shifting to the next. Almost like a triptych work of art where each painting stands alone, yet its true impact lies when viewed as a whole. Despite their rocky roads to love and the complications of today, Worlds Apart serves as a poetic reminder that truth, beauty and humanity exist even in our darkest hours.