One of the Greatest series in Greek Television in a long time!
"Mi Mou Les Antio" is roughly translated as "Don't Tell Me Goodbye". It is an adaptation of a novel that tells the story of Christina, a beautiful young Greek student, studying in Northern Greece, and a torrid love with Mourat, a handsome Turkish elementary school teacher, who has lived many years in Greece and is the "golden boy" of his community--all the mothers want their daughters to marry him. Christina is already in a relationship, with Phillipos, and Mourat has been in love with the beautiful Melek since he was a little boy. Mourat has already asked for Melek's hand in marriage, and both were born and raised as devout and faithful Muslims. When he first sees Christina, Mourat's foundations will be shaken.
Christina's roots stem from Constantinople, and she has anger towards Turks because her family were driven from their homes at the turn of the twentieth century. Mourat, understanding her contempt, introduces himself as Petros, and tries to explain to her that there have been mistakes on both sides. Suffice it to say that Mourat drifts further away from Melek, Christina drifts further away from Phillipos, and they both start to move closer together.
Naturally, a whole series of tensions ensue. Christina falls in love with Petros/Mourat, and she leaves Phillipos--who is crushed. He becomes violent and obsessive, checking up on her, asking her friends who she's seeing, etc. Mourat breaks his engagement with Melek, incurring the shame from his family, from his best friend, Hassan, who is Melek's brother, and from all the Muslim community of Mahala. He is determined to be with Christina, even meets her parents--all without disclosing to Christina that he is really a Muslim.
The cast is exceptional in this show. The chemistry between Mourat and Christina, the emotion, the tension for this young man, his fear, his faith being shaken, it truly evokes the pathos of the viewer. We root for them, because we want them to be able to overcome the obstacles that keep them apart, and yet, we respect the issues that threaten their future. A person's faith is an important part of who they are, surely no one can deny this. Besides their raw talent, the cast is stunningly beautiful. Christina, Melek, Sukran(Melek's best friend), are all beautiful actresses with great elegance and poise.
The show is filmed with taste and respect for both religious traditions, for both ways of life, customs and traditions, and how these meet in the modern hubbub of Greek university life. There is parallel struggles running through the series, tradition versus modernity for instance.
The television commercial on Antenna Satellite, where the show airs, has Mourat and Christina standing in a bleak empty room, with a birdcage with a little bird inside. Mourat looks at the bird and says, "They put us in a little cage and they say to us, 'Live'". He proceeds to pull the bird out of the cage, and together with Christina, he lets it go. This is a perfect encapsulation at the struggle of the series.
If you understand the Greek language, and you haven't already done so, get your hands on the episodes of "Mi mou les antio". You'll be glad you did. And if you liked this series, you might want to track down Manousakis' previous project, translated, "Love came from far away", which plays with the same situation.
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