The poison in the Costa-Gavras case
Whether or not we like Greek-French director Costa-Gavras, his movies or the topic of his new movie “Adults in the Room,” based on the book by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the process through which filmmakers can obtain state funding in Greece (via cash rebate) is based on numbers and percentages rather than in-person meetings. Furthermore, the process does not evaluate the script.
This information was ignored or considered secondary when reactions started to come after the official government website, Diavgeia, published a decision by Media Minister Nikos Pappas to grant funding of nearly 630,000 euros to Costa-Gavras’ project.
The director was also targeted because he deals with a controversial public figure whose so-called “proud negotiations” with the country’s creditors cost Greece several billion euros.
Among the many ills of the eight-year economic crisis, which appear to have multiplied in the past four years, is the flouting of critical thinking, uncontrolled aggression, the automatic detection of “enemies” and the vindication of “friends.”
Providing correct information is time-consuming and involves a temporary social-media absence. So, instead, people publish what they like and all hell breaks loose.
The decision to fund the director’s project set off a backlash. This involved comments on Costa-Gavras, Varoufakis, the “taxpayers’ money,” favoritism, the government and its rivals. All this became an insoluble pulp that was hurled in elegant or crude bursts against the “others,” depending on each person’s talent.
The director’s 50-year career, which has earned him awards, honors, recognition and all kinds of reviews, was simply dismissed by the repulsion felt toward the people in his new movie. We are not trying to sanctify Costa-Gavras.
But we ought to fight against the demons of prejudiced sloppiness and cannibalism, wherever they come from. Partial color blindness leads, as it turns out, to blindness.
The recent fiasco with the ongoing investigation into the alleged Novartis bribery scandal is a prime example of the way in which we forge ahead.
As stated on Skai TV with exemplary composure and moderation by former prime minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos – despite the personal cost – “this case has poisoned Greek society in its entirety. Now nobody trusts anyone.”
Similarly, the “Costa-Gavras case” has spilled poison. Only drops, one might say, in an effort to trivialize it.