In the framework of the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival, the film The Cleaners by Konstantinos Georgousis, which is a disquieting look at the racist extremism of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, was awarded with a special jury prize for documentary films.
The award comes with a 2,500-euro check provided by Al Jazeera Balkans.
The film is the 32-year-old director’s diploma thesis for the prestigious National Film and Television School (of Great Britain).
Some months ago, part of the film, the duration of which is 37 minutes, was projected by the UK-wide TV channel, Channel 4, causing upset.
“These parasites drink our water, eat our food and breathe our Greek air,” Alekos Plomaritis, who was a Golden Dawn candidate running for office at the time, says in the film. He continues: “They are primitive, miasmas and subhuman. We don’t care about their existence. We are ready to open the ovens. We will turn them into soap, but we may get a rash.”
In the note that accompanies the film, Georgousis talks about the 7 percent of the vote and the number of 18 seats in the Parliament that the party received, reporting that “rage found a way out through this neo-Nazi party,” which “seeks scapegoats in the streets of the Greek capital, through a politics of hatred.” He concluded that these people need victims.
“It is a great honor for me to be here [Sarajevo], in the city that has suffered so much by nationalism; it is a double honor because our own festival did not want to project it,” the Greek director stated concerning his film during his award in Sarajevo.
He added: “I am pleased for the fact that festivals abroad and the audience are interested so intensely in the phenomenon of Nazism in our country. I would say that the interest that countries abroad show is unexpected.”
The film has been projected in various international festivals, while it is likely that the film will be presented in Athens, Greece in autumn.