Costas and Sofia are two Athenians who have created a welcoming shelter for the Greek capital’s homeless on Evripidou Street in the heart of the city. The pair and the valuable work they do was discovered by filmmaker Michalis Dimitriou, leading to the creation of “Evripidou 14,” a short documentary that will be screening in the competition section of the Short Film Festival of Drama, a fascinating annual event that starts in the northern Greek town on Monday.
Dimitriou’s documentary shows scenes from Costa and Sofia’s day-to-day life and the challenges they have to overcome doing a difficult job in a difficult city. Providing food, preparing beds, offering washing facilities and entertainment, spending time telling jokes and listening to stories, giving speeches and good advice. Above all else, what stands out in the film is the people they help, who seem shy about appearing in this film about the two good Samaritans who extended a helping hand.
The film reminds us that the crisis has not just created problems; it has also spurred people from all strata of society – including some with their own economic woes – to help those who are less fortunate than themselves with whatever means they have at their disposal.
“I feel like the story of the person living in the streets is repeated again and again through the centuries, either because of war or an economic crisis, or some other factor,” says the director. “The homeless face numerous perils living on the streets, but what we ultimately see is that among us there are people who have huge reservoirs of love to give, who don’t get bogged down by stereotypes and prejudices. I met some of these people during my research and decided that this huge thing they do should become a film.”
In the film’s 16 minutes, the viewer is let in to the world that Costas and Maria are trying to create, but also into the dystopian reality on the ground.
For details about the film festival, go to www.dramafilmfestival.gr.