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El Greco
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El Greco (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   3,516 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Dimitris Nollas (script advisor)
Yannis Smaragdis (collaborating writer)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for El Greco on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 May 2009 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Can Darkness Win Light?
Plot:
The story of the uncompromising artist and fighter for freedom, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, known to the world as "El Greco". | Full synopsis »
Awards:
12 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Spiritual perfume See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Nick Clark Windo ... El Greco

Juan Diego Botto ... Niño de Guevara
Laia Marull ... Jerónima de las Cuevas
Lakis Lazopoulos ... Nikolos
Sotiris Moustakas ... Titian
Dimitra Matsouka ... Francesca
Dina Konsta ... Maid
Giorgos Hristodoulou ... Duke Da Rimi (as Yorgos Christodoulou)
Dimitris Kallivokas ... Chacon

Roger Coma ... Father Paravicino
Fermí Reixach ... Don Miguel de las Cuevas (as Fermi Reixac)
Miquel Gelabert ... Cardinal

Theo Alexander ... Manousos (as Theo Zoumpoulidis)

Yorgos Karamihos ... Titian's Assistant (as Yorgos Karamichos)

Renos Haralambidis ... Auctioneer (as Renos Charalampidis)
Yorgos Charalabidis ... Greco's Father (as Yorgos Charalampidis)
Ricard Borràs ... Older Inquisitor (as Ricard Borras)
Javier Coromina ... Younger Inquisitor
Elisabet Castellví ... Tortured Girl
Kostas Delakouras ... Nobleman of Orgaz
Alexandros Mordudak ... Messenger
Katerina Helmy ... Spanish Noble Woman (as Katerina Helmi)
Lida Protopsalti ... Carcadil's Wife (as Leda Protopsalti)
Tasos Palatzidis ... Prisonner (as Tasos Palantzidis)
Loudovikos ton Anogeion ... Troubadour (as Loudovikos ton Anogion)
Psaradonis ... Cretan Lyrist (as Psarantonis)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vasilis Adososglou
Giannis Agriomalos
Spyros Angelopoulos
Tasos Antoniou
Yorgos Arachovitis (as Yorgos Arahovitis)
Stavros Bafetis
Dimitris Bogdanos
Evagelia Capoyanni ... Owner's Daughter (as Evagelia Kapoyanni)
Andreu Castro ... Priest #2 (Madrid)
Carles Cuevas ... Inquisition Scribe

Roger Delmont ... Inquisitor #3
Aris Diamantopoulos
Evgenia Dimitropoulou
Fanis Dimoulias
Agustí Estadella ... Priest #1 (Madrid)
Nektarios Farmakis
Aris Fatouros
Giannis Fragos
Giorgos Fragos

Manos Gavras ... El Greco (voice)
Savas Georgiadis
Kika Georgiou
Vasilis Giakoumaros
Takis Giannopoulos
Mihalis Ginos ... Priest #1 (Venice) (as Michalis Ginos)
Haris Haralabous
Nikos Hatzipapas
Dimitris Hatzipetrou
Thanos Hronis
Konstadinos Ioakimidis (as Kostas Ioakeimidis)
Constantinos Isaias ... Nobleman of Orgaz
Valantis Kakavoulis
Konstadinos Kaltsas
Dimitris Kanas
Manos Kaperonis ... Priest #2 (Venice)
Giorgos Karagiozopoulos ... Angel A (as Yorgos Karagiozopoulos)
Antonis Karastatiras
Nikos Kardonis ... Adjutant Da Rimi
Fanis Katehos ... Art Buyer
Anastasia Katsinavaki
Giannis Kokorogiannis
Pavlos Kontoyannidis ... Nikolos
Alexandra Kotzamani
Avgoustis Koumoulos
Efi Ligouri
Hristos Loukakis
Karolos Maissas
Dimitra Maniataki
Dionysis Manousakis ... Cretan Nobleman (as Dionissis Manousakis)
Mari Mantaka
Akis Maras
Lora Metaxa
Nikos Moshos
Alexia Moustaka ... Noble Woman
Antonis Myriagos ... Greco's Archangel
Ionas Nanouris ... Model - Titios
Giorgos Oikonomou ... Cells Inquisitor
Elisavet Papadopoulou ... Model - Virgin Mary
Vasilis Papageorgiou
Nektarios Papalexiou ... Model - Annunciation Angel
Gerasimos Pavlou
Konstadinos Petrou
Stelios Petroulakis
Alexandra Pierrakou
Foivos Poulitsiakis
Tasos Psaradelis
Albert Pérez ... Inquisitor #2
Hans Richter ... Severe Inquisitor
Giorgos Roufas
Agelos Sifonios ... Jorge Manuel
Drosos Skotis

Yannis Smaragdis
Giorgos Stylianopoulos
Panagiotis Thomaidis
Pep Torrents ... Inquisitor #1
Giannis Trimis
Konstadinos Tsiakos ... Angel B (as Konstandinos Tsiakos)
Athanasios Tsigas
Manolis Tsikalas ... Pub's Owner
Arietta Valma ... Little Girl in Toledo
Dimitris Varelas
Efthymis Vasilakakis
Piero Verzello ... Young nobleman
Polydoros Vogiatzis
Alkistis Voulgari ... Model - Venus of Urbino
Giannis Vourakis
Fotis Zampetakis
Konstadinos Zizikos
Minas Zois
Giannis Zouboulakis

Directed by
Yannis Smaragdis 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Victoria Andre King  translation (as Victoria King Voreadi)
Dimitris Nollas  script advisor
Phil Parker  script advisor
Panagiotis Pashidis  special collaboration
Jackie Pavlenko  script
Dimitris Siatopoulos  book "Greco - The Painter of God"
Yannis Smaragdis  collaborating writer
Yannis Smaragdis  script advisor

Produced by
Albert Espel .... line producer
Giorgos Fragos .... associate producer
Raimon Masllorens .... producer: Spain
Nicola Rosada .... line producer: Italy
Eleni Smaragdi .... producer
Dénes Szekeres .... co-producer: Hungary
 
Original Music by
Vangelis (music composed and performed by)
 
Cinematography by
Aris Stavrou 
 
Film Editing by
Yannis Tsitsopoulos 
 
Art Direction by
Oriol Puig (co-art director)
Damianos Zarifis 
 
Costume Design by
Lala Huete 
 
Makeup Department
Olga Arráez .... assistant makeup artist: Spain
Ana Cortés .... assistant hair stylist: Spain (as Ana María Cortés)
Dimitra Dala .... assistant hair stylist: Crete
Savas Despotakis .... assistant hair stylist: Rhodes
Manolis Galanis .... makeup artist
Argyro Kouroupou .... key makeup artist
Maria Kypraki .... assistant makeup artist: Crete
Nikoleta Lykouri .... assistant makeup artist: Rhodes
Eleftheria Mavromati .... assistant hair stylist: Rhodes
Litsa Moutafi .... assistant hair stylist
Dora Nazou .... assistant makeup artist
Niki Psimouli .... hair stylist
Stella Soulele .... assistant hair stylist: Crete
 
Production Management
Kostas Delakouras .... assistant production manager
Matteo Gottardis .... production manager: Italy
Paris Karagiorgos .... production manager: Crete
David Masllorens .... production manager: Spain
Vicky Nikoletou .... production manager
Irene Puig Sedó .... assistant production manager: Spain (as Irene Puig-Sedo)
Argyris Stergiopoulos .... assistant production manager
Irini Vougioukalou .... post-production manager
Nikolina Vucetic .... executive in charge of production
Nikos Zeris .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anna Achiola .... assistant director: Rhodes
Katerina Barbatsalou .... assistant director: Rhodes
Stella Charitopoulou .... first assistant director
Takis Giannopoulos .... first assistant director
Theano Metaxa .... assistant director: Crete
Nely Reguera .... assistant director: Spain
Stephen Tsagarakis .... assistant director
Emmanouil Tselentakis .... first assistant director (as Manolis Tselentakis)
Fotis Zampetakis .... first assistant director
Marco Zanon .... assistant director: Italy
 
Art Department
Sasho Alex .... craftsman
Gerard Amoros .... assistant set painter: Spain
Flavio Bertini .... props buyer: Italy
Giorgos Bikakis .... assistant art director: Athens
Danny Burke .... props buyer
Jago Cherubini .... assistant set painter: Italy
Sotiris Dasis .... construction foreman
Maria Dima .... storyboard artist
Konstadinos Dionysopoulos .... sculpture
Ignassi Fernandez .... assistant set painter: Spain
Vasilis Fotopoulos .... props buyer: Rhodes
Santiagos Francia .... assistant set painter: Spain
Joan Ramon Galindo .... props buyer: Spain
Savas Georgiadis .... artist: paintings
Miguel Angel Gonzalez .... assistant set painter: Spain
Albert Grabulada .... assistant set painter: Spain
Giannis Hionis .... set painter
Ferran Illa .... props buyer: Spain
Pablo Inglesias .... assistant set painter: Spain
Gisella Ingrassia .... assistant set painter: Italy
Makis Ioakeim .... assistant set painter
Nikos Kazantzakis .... props buyer: Crete
Jotaz Kleant .... craftsman
Nikos Koulaftakis .... graphic arts
Giannis Kozantinos .... craftsman
M. Krassias .... assistant set painter
Josep Llasses .... assistant set painter: Spain
Ruben Lopez .... assistant set painter: Spain
Fernando Macian .... assistant set painter: Spain
Katerina-Christina Manolakou .... assistant art director: Crete (as Katerina Manolakou)
Giorgos Maroulis .... craftsman
Dimitris Migos .... craftsman
Panagiotis Mihalopoulos .... set constructor
Hristos Mitrelos .... assistant set painter
Sergio Molina .... assistant set painter: Spain
Nikos Moshos .... artist: paintings
Selimi Naim .... craftsman
Haralabos Parashos .... construction foreman
Stelios Petroulakis .... artist: paintings
Fernando Pizarro .... assistant art director: Spain
Enrique Quique .... set painter: Spain
Jordi Ribera .... craftsman: Spain
Pol Ribes .... assistant set painter: Spain
Laura Rodriguez .... assistant set painter: Spain
Khalid Sadiki .... assistant set painter: Spain
Andrea Santuari .... assistant set painter: Italy
Arnau Serra .... assistant set painter: Spain
Andreas Sinos .... props buyer: Crete
Nikos Stavrakakis .... craftsman
Nikos Triandafilopoulos .... set painter
Giorgos Tzaferos .... construction foreman
Petros Vagoudouzis .... craftsman
Ricard Valeverda .... craftsman: Spain
Babis Zafeiropoulos .... props buyer
 
Sound Department
Giannis Antypas .... boom operator: Crete
Marinos Athanasopoulos .... sound
Nikos Exarhos .... boom operator
George Faskiotis .... sound designer
Mark Kenna .... consultant: dolby film sound
Hristos Kosmas .... dubbing
Periklis Patsourakis .... boom operator: Spain
Frederick Rousseau .... sound engineer
Kostas Varympopiotis .... re-recording mixer (as Kostas Varybopiotis)
 
Special Effects by
Joan Fusté .... special effects: Spain
Nikos Georgiou .... special effects assistant
Ilias Papanikolaou .... special effects assistant
Michalis Samiotis .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Gregory Arvanitis .... visual effects
Andronikos Bisogiannis .... digital effects artist: Ixor3d
Dionysis Bouloutzas .... 3D title animator
Gregory Glezakos .... visual effects artist
Harold Herbert .... visual effects
Hristos Komninos .... visual effects
Andreas Koumpis .... digital effects artist: Ixor3d
Andreas Koumpis .... visual effects
Giorgos Louizos .... visual effects
George Manolopoulos .... visual effects
Nick Moutafis .... visual effects artist
Antonis Nikolaou .... modeler
Panagiotis Parnassas .... graphics: titles
Terry Politis .... on-line conform artist
Terry Politis .... visual effects
Tony Sheldon .... visual effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Kostas Agiannitis .... video assist: Rhodes
Simó Andreu .... video assist: Spain
Kiki Athanasourelia .... assistant camera: Crete (as Kyriaki Athanasourelia)
Kostas Babis .... steadicam assistant
Josep Maria Balagué .... electrician: Spain (as José María Balagué)
Anais Bartomeli .... electrician: Spain
Niki Bizou .... video tape operator
Juan Carlos Moreno .... grip: Spain
Stefano Carosati .... electrician: Spain
Eleftheria Deko .... generator operator
Eleftheria Deko .... lighting technician
Kontaxis Dimitris .... electrician
Oriol Espier .... grip: Spain
Myrtia Filiou .... video tape operator
Vakis Grillis .... grip: Crete (as Paraskevas Grillis)
David Gutiérrez .... electrician: Spain
Angeliki Hristodoulou .... assistant camera
Giorgos Hristodoulou .... video assist: Crete
Konstadinos Kagioulis .... grip
Alexandros Kakaniaris .... video assist
Nikos Kakousis .... grip
Babis Kalderimitzis .... gaffer
Pygmalion Kalimeris .... assistant camera
Thanasis Karabelos .... grip
Fanis Karagiorgos .... grip (as Theofanis Karagiorgos)
Dinos Katsouridis .... camera equipment
Vangelis Kolokythas .... clapper loader: Crete
Timos Koronetopoulos .... steadicam operator: Thiva
Theodosis Kostis .... grip
Giorgos Koutsandreou .... assistant camera: Crete
Dimitris Makedonas .... generator operator
Dimitris Makedonas .... lighting technician
Giorgos Manios .... generator operator
Giorgos Manios .... lighting technician
Hermes Marcos .... still photographer: Spain
Toni Martin .... electrician: Spain
Dimitris Mavromatis .... grip
Kostas Meridis .... grip
Manolis Metzakis .... still photographer
Thodoros Mihopoulos .... assistant camera
Maria Moshou .... still photographer
Sergi Nieto .... electrician: Spain
Yorgos Nikolakis .... assistant camera
Manolo Nova .... grip: Spain
Francesc Olivé .... video assist: Spain
Hristos Papanikos .... grip
Kostis Papazois .... electrician: Crete
Elvis Pasqual .... electrician: Italy
Efi Psylaki .... assistant camera
Vasilis Rafail .... generator operator
Vasilis Rafail .... lighting technician
Mihalis Rokos .... generator operator
Mihalis Rokos .... lighting technician
Yiorgos Satolias .... best boy electric
Nikos Smaragdis .... cinematographer: Crete & exterior Venice
Karolos Sturmey .... grip
Panayiotis Triandafilopoulos .... electrician: Crete
Stefanos Tsigas .... grip
Michael Tsimperopoulos .... Steadicam operator
Michael Tsimperopoulos .... camera operator: "b" camera
Oscar Vallejo .... electrician: Spain
Dimitris Viatsidis .... grip: Crete
Panagiotis Vougioukas .... Steadicam assistant
 
Casting Department
Anna Achiola .... extras casting: Rhodes
Fabio Bozzetti .... extras casting: Italy
Kyriakos Dimopoulos .... extras casting assistant: Crete
Gisela Krenn .... casting: Spain
Martí Moreu .... extras casting assistant: Spain
Emmanouil Tselentakis .... extras casting: Crete (as Manolis Tselentakis)
Lyssandros Tsihritzis .... extras casting assistant: Crete
Núria Vilert .... casting: Spain
Fotis Zampetakis .... extras casting: Athens
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Maria Astrinaki .... seamstress: Crete
Maria Bechara .... dresser: Rhodes
Ana Bernal .... assistant costume designer
Osvaldo Cheperez .... seamstress: Italy
Celia Dewes .... seamstress: Rhodes
Stella Gourgoula .... seamstress
Sonia Isla .... assistant costume designer: Crete
Eleni Komninou .... seamstress
Ruth Llera .... dresser: Crete
Alkistis Mamali .... dresser
Lena Mossum .... assistant costume designer
Eirini Petousi .... seamstress: Crete
Katerina Petsouli .... seamstress: Crete
Anna Pliaki-Petra .... seamstress: Crete
Sofia Rousso .... seamstress
Mary Skoufou .... seamstress
Athanasia Smaragdi .... assistant costume designer
Estefanía Sánchez .... seamstress: Spain
Katerina Tsakota .... assistant costume designer
Teta Vasilatou .... seamstress: Athens
 
Editorial Department
Apostolos Arhontas .... digital intermediate grader
Marianna Bourboula .... post-production coordinator
Stuart Gall .... digital intermediate technical director
Harold Herbert .... digital intermediate supervisor
Myrto Karra .... video editing
George Manolopoulos .... digital intermediate on-line editor
Christos Manousakis .... film scanning/recording operator
Nikos Panteris .... colorist
Alex Stuart .... digital intermediate print supervisor
Kiki Tsitsopoulou .... assistant editor
Konstantina Vonorta .... film scanning/recording operator
Yannis Zaharoyannis .... film scanning/recording supervisor
Akis Zorbas .... post-production technical support
 
Location Management
Fabio Bozzetti .... location manager: Italy
Mar Francolí .... location manager: Spain
Stefano Dalla Lana .... location manager
Stefano Dalla Lana .... location manager: Italy
Nikos Nikolettos .... location manager: Crete
 
Music Department
Marianna Argyropoulou .... musician: bass
Sonia Haralabidou .... musician: lute
Vasilis Priovolos .... musician: recorders
Psaradonis .... musician: cretan lyre
Frederick Rousseau .... assistant music producer
Frederick Rousseau .... supervising music editor
Frederick Rousseau .... supervising music mixer
Vangelis Sagris .... musician: percussions
Loudovikos ton Anogeion .... musician: mandolin
Giannis Toulis .... musician: violin
Irina Valentinova-Karpukhina .... choir master (as Irina Valentinova)
Irina Valentinova-Karpukhina .... score transcription: choir music (as Irina Valentinova)
Vangelis .... music arranger
Vangelis .... music producer
Niki Xylouri .... musician: percussions
Giorgos Xylouris .... musician: lute
 
Transportation Department
Paris Babis .... driver: Rhodes
Borja Costa .... driver: Spain
Babis Fotaras .... driver: Crete
Vasilis Gerpisiotis .... driver: Athens
Ahilleas Halkiotis .... driver: Athens
Lefteris Horafitis .... driver: Rhodes
Victoria Mactreziak .... driver: Crete
Sergio Morilla .... driver: Spain
Giorgos Panagiotakis .... driver: Crete
Giannis Sotiriou .... truck driver
Victoria Trzeciak .... driver
Giorgos Tsiaras .... truck driver
Hristos Tyros .... driver: Crete
Mihalis Velonakis .... driver: Crete
Anna Vila .... driver: Spain
 
Other crew
Sintu Amat .... accommodation and transportation: Spain
Kostas Badouvas .... support
Gemma Bertran .... public relations: Spain
Glória Cabedo .... assistant accountant: Spain
Joan Capdevila .... production assistant: Spain
Angela Christofilou .... dialogue coach: Rhodes (as Antzela Hristofilou)
Elena Dentopoulou .... accommodation and transportation
Sofia Exarchou .... script supervisor
Manuel Fernandez .... production assistant: Madrid
Sebastián Fleishhacker .... production assistant: Spain
Stelios Giannikakis .... support
Kilian Gregorio .... production assistant: Spain
Minas Halkiadakis .... support
Manolis Hrysafis .... accountant
Miquel Jodar .... accountant: Spain
Alexandros Kakaniaris .... production assistant
Kostas Karadimas .... production assistant: Crete
Miltiadis Karatzis .... support
Gregory Patrick Karr .... english language director (as Gregory Patrikareas)
Athena Katsibardis .... accommodation and transportation: Crete (as Athina De Caunos Katsibardi)
Spiros Kourtelesis .... caterer: Athens
Dora Koutelia .... assistant accountant
Lila Lazou .... production secretary
Giannis Lebidakis .... support
Clara León .... production researcher (as Clara León Huete)
Juan Linares .... production assistant: Spain
Helena Matamala Roig .... production assistant: Spain (as Elena Matamala)
Theano Metaxa .... production assistant: Crete
Carlos Micó .... production assistant: Madrid
Panagiotis Mihos .... public relations
Giannis Nikoletos .... production assistant: Rhodes
Júlia Palou .... production assistant (as Julia Palou)
Júlia Palou .... production assistant: Spain (as Julia Palou)
Katerina Papageorgiou .... assistant choreographer
Mihalis Papakaliatis .... support
Mihalis Papanousis .... production assistant: Rhodes
Yorgos Paterakis .... production assistant: Crete
Hristina Pigaki .... lawyer
Nikos Pitsakis .... production assistant
Maria Prada .... production assistant: Madrid
Marilena Rassidaki .... dialogue coach: Crete
Konstadinos Rigos .... choreographer
Katerina Rontiri-Fragou .... assistant to producer
Ioanna Rozaki .... production secretary
Gaspar Segovia .... production assistant: Madrid
Giorgos Siganos .... support
Kostas Stavropoulos .... dvd authoring
Giorgos Syntihakis .... horses: Crete
Nélida Sánchez .... production coordinator
Felo Torres .... production assistant: Madrid
Irene Tsibragou .... production assistant: Crete
Manouella Vasilaki .... support
Panos Xaxiris .... production assistant
Eleni Zambetaki .... production secretary
Sintu Amat .... production secretary (uncredited)
Albert Grabuleda Capdevila .... decoration worker (uncredited)
Christos Megarchiotis .... script editor (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Dimitris Alexopoulos .... thanks
Simó Andreu .... thanks
Marta Ascaso .... thanks
Kostas Badouvas .... thanks
Oriol Bosch .... thanks
Massia Cansunyer .... thanks
Bisbut Devic .... thanks
Albert Espel .... thanks
Giorgos Fragos .... thanks
Katerina Fragou .... thanks
Stelios Giannikakis .... thanks
Minas Halkiadakis .... thanks
Miltiadis Karatzis .... thanks
Kostas Klironomos .... thanks
Lakis Lazopoulos .... warm thanks
Giannis Lebidakis .... thanks
Ilias Legakis .... thanks
Raimon Masllorens .... thanks
Josep Mazurriaga .... thanks
Andreas Metaxas .... thanks
Tomas Monconell .... thanks
Sotiris Moustakas .... in memory of
Mihalis Papakaliatis .... thanks
Psaradonis .... thanks
Miryam Quesada .... thanks
Giannis Sbokos .... thanks
Dimitris Siatopoulos .... in memory of
Giorgos Siganos .... thanks
Dénes Szekeres .... thanks
Loudovikos ton Anogeion .... thanks
Joan Toneu .... thanks
Vangelis .... warm thanks
Lena Vardinogianni .... thanks
Sassa Vardinogianni .... thanks
Manouela Vasilaki .... thanks
Dora Visovitou .... thanks
Niki Xylouri .... thanks
Giorgos Xylouris .... thanks
Damianos Zarifis .... in memory of
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Greece:119 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The last acting performance by Sotiris Moustakas.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Just after the battle, the wound on El Greco father's forehead changes places between shots, from left forehead to just over his eyebrow.See more »
Quotes:
El Greco:[During his trial for heresy] I call in Grand Inquisitor, Cardinal Nino de Guevara. And I call him to testify. Why has he asked a blasphemous heretic to paint his portrait?See more »
Soundtrack:
Siga-siga vrehei o TheosSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Spiritual perfume, 19 October 2012
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

This was a big thing when it came out, fellow Greek readers will attest to that. It was aggressively promoted as both 'expensive' and 'prestigious', it seems a rare thing for Greek cinema. The story went that the filmmaker had to mortgage his own house to finance his vision, proof of bold artistic merit. The movie played theatrically for what seemed like endless months - to make back its partly government-subsidized budget the rumor goes, since little interest materialized abroad. Schools planned 'educational' trips to the cinema, probably for the same reason.

How small it seems now. You can see loftier production values on TV, and probably much better acting and a less grating parade of profundities.

What really offends though is the spirit behind the work. It's not that it is dull and completely without insight about its own craft. It is both these things, but that's a simple incompetence. I mean, here is a film about a man of extraordinary vision who wanted to paint with light, and the 'inspirational' film about him is wholly ordinary, as lush and spiritual as perfume. What poor use of Aris Stavrou, who once liked to puzzle (next to Nikos Nikolaidis) about texture and light.

It's that Smaragdis hoped to capture a bit of Greek soul (not necessarily historical 'truth') and journey with it abroad, a noble aim. Capture us as we dream ourselves to be, feisty and passionate Zorbas, made pensive by centuries of hardship - a bit like Kusturica did for the neighboring Yugoslavs.

The film is set in those centuries of foreign rule, Italian and Ottoman elsewhere. There was no Rennaisance allowed in those times, it would be good to note, no lofty national art as they could develop in the salons of Western Europe. Our painting was religious. Our theater was song and dance, from Thrace to Crete. The collective soul had to pour that way, which is why they still persist and resonate so strongly in these parts - as elsewhere in the former empire.

You will know it's all phony by watching the scene of proud Cretans dancing after a skirmish with the Italians. You'd think, if there was a bit of ancient Greek song rising from the earth, it would be in that scene. If you are ever in the region, go to a Cretan wedding or folk fest, in fact anywhere in rural Greece during times of celebration. Then watch the posturing in the film. Dismal.

If you want to know a bit about these things, to see actual Balkan spirit, seek out a man called Sergei Parajanov. He was Armenian who made films under Soviet rule, but it is the same soul he captured.

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