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Kavafis (1996)

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Loosely based on the life of Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis.



(final revised script), , 2 more credits »
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Title: Kavafis (1996)

Kavafis (1996) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dimitris Katalifos ...
Konstantinos Kavafis
Vasilis Diamantopoulos ...
Konstantinos Kavafis (old)
Maya Lyberopoulou ...
Harikleia Kavafi
Lazaros Georgakopoulos ...
Alexandros Koukos
Vassilis Seimenis
Giannis Rigas
Maria Katsiadaki
Manos Meletiou ...
Vaggelis Theodoropoulos
Giorgos Moshidis ...
Vasilis Andreopoulos ...
Georgios Fotiadis
Hristos Ninis
Babis Giotopoulos
Tzoulia Souglakou


Loosely based on the life of Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama





| | |

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Kavafi  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Kavafis deserves better
29 March 2008 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Greek cinema doesn't boast many good films, and when a film like "Kavafis" comes out, people take notice. The film has beautiful scenes from 19th and early 20th century Alexandria, Constantinople and Athens and a wonderful score from the famous Vangelis (of "Chariots of Fire" fame). Most Greek films never reach a level that "Kavafis" has in these aspects. However, the script and story is so poor that "Kavafis" reveals little about the poet's life and inspiration and makes a movie that has so much potential utterly disappointing.

Director Smaragthis does two controversial things with the film. First, he has Cavafy speak no lines in the entire film, except for voice-overs of his poems. This decision is understandable considering that we only hear the true words of Cavafy in a film about him. Can't do much better for historical accuracy I suppose. However, for an audience, scenes where everyone else is speaking and Cavafy is sitting silently seem very odd. The times where Cavafy opens his mouth to speak and then suddenly doesn't are almost comic.

The second controversial aspect of this film is the fact that the movie deals only with Cavafy's homosexual love life. We learn very little about his family, education and inspiration for his poetry. Someone who had never known Cavafy before this film would think that all Cavafy did all day was lurk the dark alleys and tavernas of Constantinople and Alexandria to find men. The poems that Smaragthis chose to have in the film almost exclusively focus on homosexual themes. While Cavafy's homosexuality needs to be dealt with in a film, it seems every scene involves Cavafy staring into the eyes of some new man. In fact, Cavafy's rejection by the Athenian literary establishment is portrayed as Cavafy being rejected sexually by one of the leading Athenian poets of the time, Mavroudis. Not only do these scenes limit our understanding of Cavafy's life, but they really make for a static, and honestly boring movie.

A great poet like Cavafy deserves better. Let's hope the next person to take on the life of Cavafy decides to portray him as the complicated genius he really was.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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