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Mikis Theodorakis: If we don’t set ourselves free, we cannot hope

21 July 2013 / 12:07:13  GRReporter
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Dedicated to powerless parents and mainly to young people who are trying to understand the cruel fate that their future holds after their parents have outlined their path, Euripides’ Medea is "recycled" on the big screen.

Representing a cinematic opera and ballet, Asteris Koutoulas’s film Recycling Medea, music by Mikis Theodorakis and choreography by Renato Zanella, had its official premiere last week in the presence of the composer himself, authors and pianist Stefanos Korkolis who performed Theodorakis’s music.

On Tuesday, the film was presented at a press conference and, as usual, the event was focused mainly on the great Greek composer, who spoke passionately about the need for the independence of Greece, which has become a protectorate.

The film is a recording of a ballet performance that combines the ancient Greek myth with the music of Theodorakis, starring Greek National Ballet’s Principal Dancer Maria Kousouni. The music in the film is played by the St. Petersburg International Music Academy. Six dancers perform a combination of classical ballet and modern expressive dance, accompanied by images of rebellious youth and hooded young people and heavily armed uncontrolled policemen. The reference is obvious, just like Euripides’ Medea is torn, because others incite her to commit the most terrible crime - to kill her children, modern Greece as a victim is forced to kill its children's future.

"We pay for the education of our children so that the Germans can "drain it off" later," said Theodorakis, adding that such taxes like those that the Greeks are paying now had not been imposed even at the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, nor during the Roman Empire. According to the composer, Greece today doesn’t have defence, or economy, or even culture, because of the international financial system’s attacks which are made on the whole of Europe. "Imagine a Europe of culture, abundance and peace. Such a Europe would never allow the Americans to kill with impunity in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. Because you need to know: the greatest enemy of the Americans are the Europeans," added Mikis Theodorakis.

The composer, who has been claiming to be "riding the horse of resistance" for decades, made direct attacks on individuals and institutions. He spoke about the Greeks, who pay taxes "so that Akis Tsochatzopoulos could build his houses" and also about the Athens Festival and its president George Loukos. "Everybody talks about Mr. Loukos ... I do not know him. After 70 years of activity, I’ve been cut off from the festival."

According to Theodorakis, Golden Dawn’s entry into parliament is a disgrace for Greece and democracy. "They are cancer," Theodorakis said, adding, "If I were a deputy, I would never sit in the same room with them."

According to the composer, the climax of the film is in the final ten minutes. "Look at the great scene with the scream, followed by the crucifixion. Medea is trying to remain standing. She is falling again and again. But in the end, she is standing on the Argo – the ship which is a symbol of her suffering. She is standing with pride. She is slowly turning her face and staring with dignity and strength at her enemies and friends, she is saying: "I'm here. ... A victress over time. I'm Greece."

The press conference was attended by director Asteris Koutoulas, 15-year-old actress Bella Oelmann, who starred as the Innocence, and Velisarios Kosivakis of New Star Company. Koutoulas said that he wanted to make a very emotional film, adding that he had tried to describe the emotion of movement and music by cinematic means.

Tags: Mikis Theodorakis Recycling Medea ballet Asteris Koutoulas
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