The Study Day, under the title “Greece in the Cinematic Turmoil. In Search of the Political Gaze in Times of Crisis?”, is organised by Evgenia Giannouri (Paris 3, IRCAV), Mélisande Leventopoulos (Paris 8, ESTCA) and Achilleas Papakonstantis (University of Lausanne). It focuses on contemporary Greek films and their regard to issues of politics. Despite the country’s current situation of economic precariousness and social unrest, the Greek political film seems to constitute an impossible genre. Yet, it used to be a major part of the New Greek Cinema of the 1970s and 1980s, whereas it represents one of the most prevalent expressions in the field of documentary.
Since the country was struck by a severe financial and social crisis in 2009, Greek cinema has almost paradoxically undergone a remarkable revitalization. Many of the films produced during this period, some of them widely acclaimed by critics, scholars and festival goers, present a substantial tendency towards violence along with situations of social alienation. Yet, they avoid direct reference to current sociopolitical developments or rather prefer to relegate them to the sidelines of the main narrative. In order however to convey some sort of political message, young Greek filmmakers seem to favor social allegory to the detriment of narratives with explicit political engagement. Our purpose is to question this displacement or alleged absence. Where does the political “now” reside? How is it formulated? What are the means by which it is constructed or disguised, on the level of both story-telling and aesthetic? How do new cinematographic trends ultimately relate to the socio-political reality, thus perpetuating (or not), reshaping or utterly reinventing the way in which Greek cinema has traditionally reflected upon the country's history and its political events?
The Study Day, preceded by a screening the previous day, aims to familiarize the French public with contemporary Greek film and issues associated with it in the field of film history, film aesthetics and their socio-political impact. Far from proposing, in its current stage of development, an exhaustive assessment regarding these matters, it rather constitutes an endeavor to open the debate with local academia. In the future, our aim is to associate a broader panel of scholars and furthermore question the extent to which contemporary Greek film aligns itself with other European cinematographies, such as Portuguese film for instance. What does such a parallel examination offer to the rethinking of the political film? How does such an approach connect with political science in order to question the deconstruction of politics and its appropriation from a cinematographic perspective?
For more information, please contact
Evgenia Giannouri: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mélisande Leventopoulos: email@example.com
Achilleas Papakonstantis: firstname.lastname@example.org
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