14 June 2019 | Tasos2
Simple, humanistic look at everyday life during the Greek civil war
(Note: This review was written in 1988). A wonderful film by Tassos Psarras, which won the Best Film prize at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. This is an interesting humanist look at the conditions of life of simple and unsuspecting people who are uprooted by the civil war and live in the "Karavan Sarai" building of Thessaloniki. The film impresses with its tight script and its refusal to end up in a revolutionary manifesto of the left (as in Bertolucci's "1900", for example), although the story lends itself to such an ending.
Above all, however, the film attracts the viewer with its skillful look at the Greek everyday life of the 1950s, a world that has been lost, and therefore its representation is more folklore rather than realistic. Psarras does a great job in this attempt and, in our view, the main theme of the film is this outline of Greekness in a simple way that has been lost to "academic" directors over the last fifteen years. If one adds Voulgari's "Stone Years" (and much of the "Voyage to Cythera" by Angelopoulos) there is a whole tendency in the Greek cinema which is almost romantically focused on the examination of "Greekness", beyond political ideologies and easy preaching. When this examination is done by auteurs who look at life with love (as the three above mentioned), the result is a genuine work of art. Last but not least, let's not forget to mention the amazing acting of Thymios Karakatsanis, which brings the film to higher dimensions of liveliness.