Cacoyannis is a great director and this documentary is very well presented except for the fact that is a one-sided view of the events. I admire his courage in filming the events of the summer of 1974 and what followed almost as they were happening. It brought back sad memories of those days as I have lived them as a child. Unfortunately it is a one-sided propaganda that Greek Cypriots so much love to repeat even to this day (perhaps even more so today).
I love the way he presents the human suffering of the refugees, it is real and shows the human suffering of war and its consequences. It is sad to see though that he completely ignores the suffering of the Turkish Cypriot refugees. Nor is he mentioning the terror they must have gone thru following the coup knowing its leader was planning to eliminate them. Nor does he mention the fact the T/Cs were forced to live in enclaves since 1964 by the Makarios regime and by their own nationalists. To his defense it would've been impossible at the time to interview T/C's because of the military situation on the island. But considering he fails to present things in an objective way I doubt he would've had any interest.
He does a great job in blaming the US and British involvement in the events of '74. He also does a great job in blaming EOKA B and the coup of July 15th that was the direct reason for the Turkish invasion that followed a few days later. Of course as a G/C I learned to call it an invasion. If one objectively analyzes the actions of Turkey and all agreements that were in place then invasion might not be the appropriate term. But whatever term we use the fact is the Cypriot constitution allowed the three guarantor powers (namely Turkey, Greece and the UK) to militarily intervene in case of a crisis. So Turkey had every legal right to invade since Greece was obviously behind the coup. Also knowing the person who was in charge of the coup had a lifelong dream for a "final solution" of Turkish Cypriots perhaps one might say Turkey even had a moral obligation to intervene.
However, to present Turkey as the innocent party here will be a stretch of reality as Turkey's plans of capturing part of Cyprus have been on the drawing board since the 50's (and of course so were Greece's plans). Also, after the invasion and since the early 2000's Turkey showed no real interest in solving the problem and withdrawing its troops. This shows that the welfare of the T/Cs was not the only thing on Turkey's mind.
I find Makarios's comments about the percentages of victims with the US population as moronic. This kind of cheap reasoning will go down well with most G/CS though as they've been so well conditioned by Makarios' ideology to find all kinds of excuses to prove that Turks are "barbarians" and that the G/Cs are innocent virgins no matter how you measure it.
Cacoyannis does a great job in presenting EOKA B' ultra-nationalistic views and actions. What he fails to mention though is that EOKA B is a mere splinter group of Makarios' nationalistic ideology that was dominating G/C politics since the 50's. The difference between Makarios's ideology and EOKA B is one of degree. Their immediate goals might have differed but the ideology was one and the same, one of nationalism and division. Let's not forget EOKA B's leader Grivas was Makarios' hand-picked military leader for years.
Cacoyannis fails miserably to apportion the blame on the mainstream nationalistic views that were dominating the island under Makarios regime (sadly these views are alive and well till this very day). Makarios had a direct responsibility in cultivating nationalistic ideology amongst G/Cs which Rauf Denktash among the T/Cs was following step by step. This is the true "Rape Of Cyprus" namely the nationalistic ideologies that were cultivated and supported by Makarios on one hand and Denktash on the other side.
Unfortunately Makarios's nationalistic views not only have survived to this day but have almost completely eliminated any other form of objective reasoning among G/Cs. And this documentary plays a role in perpetuating the myths and half-truths G/Cs are so in love in believing. For this reason I give it the lowest rating.
----------------------------- "Nationalism is an infantile disease"
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