Internationally acclaimed Greek documentary “Agora: From Democracy to the Market” will have its German festival premiere at the 30th International Documentary Film Festival DOK.FEST in Munich from May 7 to May 15. DOK.FEST is one of the major documentary film festivals in Germany and Europe. 146 films from 37 countries have been selected with “Agora” being the only Greek production featured in this year’s program. The documentary on the Greek crisis has been officially selected for the DOK.Money section, a film program focusing on various aspects of today’s global economy. Film director Yorgos Avgeropoulos will attend the premiere on May 14 and will hold a Q&A session with the audience. Two more screenings on May 15 and 17 will follow.
German audiences’ longing for an alternative understanding of the Greek crisis has led to upcoming “Agora” screenings in three German cities. After its first TV broadcast by German Public Television WDR, the film will be screened at the Werkstatt der Kulturen in Berlin on April 16 as part of a special event dedicated to Greece and Europe. It will also have a special screening in Muenster on May 11, organized by the Greek-German Society and Attac Muenster, and at the Ulmer Volkshochschule in Ulm on May 18.
Screenings in Greece and abroad
Avgeropoulos has been invited by the Greek Cinema Club of Luxembourg to present “Agora” at Cine Utopia in Luxembourg on April 21 while a second screening will follow on April 22. On April 24, the film will be screened in Athens as part of the special tribute to Greek documentary films “With eyes wide open” organized by the Greek Documentary Association, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Technopolis City of Athens. More screenings will be held in various Greek cities.
The Agora was a central area in Ancient Greece city-states. It was a gathering place, an assembly of active citizens and the City center for political, economic, athletic, artistic and spiritual life. It was the heart of Democracy. In Modern Greece, the word Agora has lost its initial sense and has come to denote solely the place and act of commercial transactions. It is a dominant word in the reality experienced by Greeks today, as the country goes through an economical vortex that devours human lives in its path.
Greece, a symbol for the European civilization due to its Ancient heritage, is experiencing conditions in post-war history that no European thought would face again. Homeless people, soup kitchens, unemployment, poverty, an unsettled social situation, violent conflicts and the rise of the extreme-right. The dream of prosperity has turned into a nightmare and the political scene of the last four decades is crumbling.
Avgeropoulos witnesses the fall. After 13 years of ongoing reporting and documenting global issues, he urgently turns his camera toward his homeland. He records the crisis’ development from its early stage, while tracing its impact on the lives of simple people from all social classes whom he observes over time. He witnesses popular protests in the streets, the development of solidarity movements as well as the rise of fascism, while at the same time he seeks answers from his country’s most significant political personalities, insiders, analysts and key decision makers from the international political scene.
“Agora” is an international co-production between Small Planet (Greece), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Germany) and Al Jazeera Arabic (Qatar).