This collection of new writing on contemporary Greek cinema builds and expands on existing work in the field, providing a coherent analysis of films which, despite their international importance, have so far received limited critical attention. The volume maps key trends in Greek cinema since the 1990s within the wider context of production and consumption at both national and international levels. It offers a wide range of critical analyses of documentary and avant-garde filmmaking, art house and popular cinema, and the work of established and new directors as well as deliberations on teaching methodologies and marketing strategies. The book seeks to highlight the continuities, mutual influences and common contexts that inform, shape and inspire filmmaking in Greece today.
9 The Albanian in the Room: Revisiting Greek Hospitality in From the Snow and Plato’s Academy (Philip Phillis)
Philip Phillis 9 The Albanian in the Room: Revisiting Greek Hospitality in From the Snow and Plato’s Academy Into the Era of Migration and Transnational Cinema This chapter explores two Greek–European co-productions, namely Ap’ to Hioni/From the Snow (Sotiris Goritsas, 1993) and Akadimia Platonos/ Plato’s Academy (Filippos Tsitos, 2009). The two films were produced at key moments of Albanian migration to Greece and, as I argue, reflect a similar hackneyed rhetoric, despite a long interim period. Both films bookend a tumultuous period of contemporary Greek history beginning in the early 1990s and are strongly reflective of the zeitgeist of the time. In particular, this was a pivotal era that saw a daunting test on the capacity of Greece to implement Europeanization as thousands of disen- franchised migrants from the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the developing world migrated to Greece. This was one of the country’s biggest chal- lenges since the Restoration of Democracy in 1974 and Greece’s subsequent membership in the European Union in 1981, which meant grand-scale reform. Successful management of foreign migration would essentially mean that Greece can fulfil the duties of a multicultural European state. Europeanization, however, was met with resistance as the political elite relied on a provincial brand of ethnocentrism and populism, which gave birth to popular slogans such as ‘Greece belongs to the Greeks, not to the West’.1 This is indicative of the developing tensions in Greece that continue 1 Vrasidas Karalis, A History of Greek Cinema (New York and London: Continuum, 2012)...
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