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Time and Space in Contemporary Greek-Cypriot Cinema

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Lisa Socrates

Why does the 1974 war in Cyprus remain so dominant in Greek-Cypriot cinema? How has this event shaped the imagination of contemporary filmmakers, and how might one define the new national cinema that has emerged as a result? This book explores such questions by analysing a range of Greek-Cypriot films that have hitherto received little or no critical discussion.
The book adopts a predominantly conceptual approach, situating contemporary Greek-Cypriot cinema within a specific cultural and national context. Drawing on the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and particularly his theories of time and space, the author explores ways in which Greek-Cypriot directors invent new forms of imagery as a way of dealing with the crisis of history, the burden of memory and the dislocation of the island’s abandoned spaces.
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Chapter 4: Shattered Spaces and the Recollection-Image

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CHAPTER 4

Shattered Spaces and the Recollection-Image

Nothing remains but the approaching sounds of war.1

— Her Violet Garden (IRENA IOANNIDES, 1997)

The quotation above from Her Violet Garden captures the profound changes anticipated by the war. A young girl reflects on being left behind with her family whilst her father enlists as a soldier. Her Violet Garden centres on the experiences of war and its aftermath, as the film manoeuvres between past and present time. I would like to set the scene for the readings in this chapter by showing how Irena Ioannides’s film demarcates a horizon of experiences before and after 1974, which we can appreciate through the young girl’s perspective of time and spaces. In this short film, the private and domestic space of the family garden reaches its end, when it meets with the political space where the war spills into its path.

This chapter explores the extent to which the visualization of personal memories on the screen can be analysed as Deleuzian recollection-images. I shall argue that Greek-Cypriot filmmakers prove highly innovative because they create their own distinctive recollection-image. A key feature that reflects how filmmakers develop this image, lies in the relationship between sound and the visual image. In Cinema 2, Deleuze notes how ‘sound must ← 99 | 100 → itself become image instead of being a component of the visual image’.2 The relocation of sound, from inside the image to an outside space...

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