Lydia Papadimitriou met actor Maria Kallimani at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July 2014, where Athanasios (Thanassis) Karanikolas’s Sto Spiti/At Home was shown as part of the ‘Another View’ section, following the film’s world premiere – and Award by the Ecumenical Jury – at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Through a highly internalized and quietly expressive performance in the leading role of Nadja, Kallimani conveys very effectively the dignity of this domestic worker from Georgia, in a film that departs from stereotypical depictions of immigrants in Greece. Lydia Papadimitriou interviewed Maria Kallimani about her role in the film, her collaboration with writer/director Thanassis Karanikolas and her overall career in the cinema.
Lydia Papadimitriou : I would like to begin by asking you to introduce us to your character Nadja in At Home.
Maria Kallimani : Nadja is a domestic worker from Georgia who has lived over twenty years in Greece, and who, for the last twelve, works for a young, affluent and open-minded Greek couple and their daughter, Iris. She has an unconventional relationship with them – the wife says that she is her friend, and Nadja seems to be part of the family. However, from the opening scene we realize that Nadja has a physical weakness and she soon gets diagnosed with a disease – probably multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, this coincides with financial difficulties for the couple because of the broader economic crisis. So they decide to sack Nadja, and the situation changes dramatically for her. ... More