CULTURE

Women forgiving with a hug

Pericles Hoursoglou burst onto the local cinema scene in 1993 and since then has worked steadily, methodically and quietly. In his new film, «Matia Apo Nychta» (Eyes of Night), the director continues looking into the souls of ordinary people – the kind other filmmakers ignore. When you start a film is it because you want to say something? Yes. What happens is that I see a blurred vision of the world. Perhaps I’m not exactly sure what I want to say right away. In this film, I had the following image to begin with: Two women facing each other. One of them raises her hand but instead of slapping the other one, embraces her. What I wanted to do initially, I think, is a story on forgiveness and human decency. In the end, I believe the movie became about a hug and human contact. Why did you choose the act of forgiveness between two women? Because women are more generous… Did you want to shoot a film on the subject of infidelity? About the need to come into contact with someone. The story is about infidelity. Each of the three leading characters represents a social model. Eleftheria (Vangelio Andreadaki), is a 40-year-old woman who wants to get married and have a child. Chronis (Yiannis Karatzoyiannis) is the kind of man who likes to run away from situations, to travel, to be alone, knowing that someone will be waiting for him. Do you believe that this kind of woman is the predominant female model these days? Absolutely. There are many women like Eleftheria out there, but they keep quiet. They have nothing to do with the contemporary lifestyle. Even young Valia (Ekavi Douma), who fights for her independence and acts really tough, really misses out and wants a cuddle. All three characters are after something, but what they really need has nothing to do with what they’re looking for. The distance between the chimera and the truth is the real drama here. Eleftheria, for instance, is after marriage, but when that dream is destroyed, she actually discovers herself and is liberated. You observe the lives of ordinary people. In such a loud world you choose to shoot the whispers. It has to do with my stance toward life. It’s about morality. In the end, we all choose to speak about something that moves us. Others are moved by lifestyle, I’m touched by these whispers. I’ve owned the same motorcycle since 1980 and nearly every single month have difficulties when it comes to paying the rent. But I’m very proud of my three short and three long feature films. It’s easy to go to an anti-Bush demonstration. What’s really hard is to do my job properly. Does a box-office success, such as that of «A Touch of Spice,» help Greek cinema as a whole? There are always two sides to a story. To begin with, it’s a good thing that more than a million people saw the film. I personally haven’t seen it, but I understand it’s a good movie. Perhaps its success has drained interest on the part of the public. Whether in the arts or in sports, the one who comes first receives a bonus and the difference between the second or third in line is huge. This gap is unfair and doesn’t reflect reality. To a certain extent, it is fabricated. The difference between «A Touch of Spice’s» 1.3 million entries and Elissavet Chronopoulou’s 1,500 tickets («One Song is not Enough») does not reflect the real distance between the two films. On the contrary. The «Touch of Spice» model might turn directors’ interest toward a good distributor and promotion. Surely that was not Tassos Boulmetis’s intention, but the danger exists. If advertising promotes bad movies, that will not be healthy for Greek productions.