I don’t come from a leftwing family; I’m talking about my immediate family. My father was a centre-right wing supporter, owing, to a certain degree, to Eleftherios Venizelos and his Cretan descent, and my mother was a follower of Karamanlis (as a result of a personality-cult admiration rather than of political thinking.)
Only my cousin Anna Karagiannaki, who is actually more than a sister to me, had been a member of the Communist party for years had been considerably active and one of the students barricaded in the Polytechnic during the uprising, in 1973. My brother had also joined the Communist Youth for a while.
As for me, I never saw myself as a communist nor was I ever a member of a left-wing youth or any other party organizations.
I believed, and I still maintain, that both the Right and the Left, have always served conservative and pro-government purposes.
Had I lived in western Europe, especially in the years between 1945 and 1990, I would have supported Social Democrats with passion. I could not be a right-winger because it would not suit me, neither mentally nor morally. And I could not be a left-winger, because I regard freedom of thought, judgement and will as the most valuable riches one can have.
I have disclosed my political beliefs and my ideology, not because they may interest anyone, but because I believe that not coming from the right or the left wing and by virtue of being moderate by nature, provided a very good basis for becoming involved (in terms of filmmaking) with a fiery topic, that called for delicate handling.
I first heard about Makronisos, at the end of the 1980s, from a great, yet unknown leftist and one of the most influential people in my life, Alekos Efremidis.
He had worked for many years as a flight attendant for Olympic Airways. When I first met him, in late 1988, he had by then been reassigned and worked as ground staff because he suffered from diabetes. Alekos was one of the most lively and exciting people I have ever met. Despite our thirty-year age difference, we became good friends.
He was an ardent communist, but with an open mind, great ethos and integrity and incredible culture. He was a leftist, in the good sense of the word, as leftists should be, a notable exception. Alekos passed away prematurely, in April 1992. He died of complications from diabetes, even though he was only 52.
In the three years, that our friendship lasted, I had the time to learn a great deal!
About cinema, women, literature, history, theatre, about Marx, the tragedians, the Left and above all about real life.
One evening in the autumn of 1989, while we were sitting on the balcony, he asked me “...Have you ever read the history of Makronisos by Margaris...?”. I was taken aback. “No...”I whispered in shame, “...Then you know nothing in life...”. That was his answer.
I spent the following days looking for the two-volume history of Margaris and sometime later I found it in Monastiraki, but I did not get to read it until five years later. In the meantime, my traumatic military service (starting in November 1989) and the death of my brother (on 31 August 1990) had taken place
When I finally got round to reading it, in 1993 or 1994, I could not believe my eyes. I felt as if I had been hit by thunder. I had heard about political repression in the civil war and post civil war years and had seen the extraordinary “Happy Day”, by Pantelis Voulgaris (although I was a teenager and I did not understand much, those images had stuck with me), but reading the story of Makronisos shook me really hard. It was then, that I began systematic research into the relevant literature, documents and sources.
Another three years passed before I eventually had the opportunity to visit Makronisos.
It was the summer of 1997.
My good friend Lakis Karalis, with whom I had worked excellently the previous year, in my first short film, “The Last Act”, had managed to be given the historical site of Makronisos for his production of the “Death of Marat”, featuring amateur actors from the theatre club of Volos and his the? theatre workshop in Lavrion.
Hence a trip to Makronisos was organized. Attendance exceeded all expectations. It was incredible. Lavrion was crowded with people, wishing to get across the bay in order to see the performance and walk around the penitentiary.
They were transported by launches, each one could take about 10 people. Men, women, children, the elderly, the formerly displaced, tourists-everyone wanted to be there. The performance took place amidst the ruins of the old church of the first battalion, the building which Nikos Koundouros had constructed with his own hands, while in exile.
No one who was there that evening, will ever forget that experience.
The powerful performances of those amateur actors combined with all the memories that were emerging from all around, generated a unique emotion.
The performance ended at midnight. The return to Lavrion on launches, ten people at a time, lasted for many hours.
I had decided to join the last group, which was to depart near the crack of dawn. That way I had the chance to walk around Makronissos and take in its special energy. The experience was unique. I will never forget that night. The images of the old stories that had become part of me, everything that I had heard or read, paired with the aftertaste of that tremendous performance I had just watched, and the remains of the old Camp, enveloped by silence, under the starry sky had given rise to something very unique in my soul and in my senses.
I think that a small portion of all the ‘electricity’ that had haunted the island from the years it had been a place of torture (1947-1957) and even further back, because it had been a place of exile and incarceration as far back as Roman Greece, and later, during the Turkish rule, had gripped me. At least that was what it felt like...The way I put it may seem preposterous, but it doesn’t matter. I probably would not believe it myself if it came from someone else. I would probably mock them too. But the truth was that it was already morning and I had decided that I was absolutely going to make this film about Makronisos. I had found inner motivation, something that is essential for every film.
Another five years passed, during which time, among other work engagements, I met with former exiles, I read a lot, I went through archive records, both document and film, I watched every tribute that had been made about Makronisos on ERT, and I was preparing myself.
But I had not reached a conclusion about the style the film would have. In such cases, there are always, at least, two paths to follow. A more radical one, where one is led by their instinct to entirely personal choices, which in my case would be a way of bringing out something poetic and meaningful from the Makronisos experience through abstraction and simplicity. The other path would be that of the classic, academic documentary, meticulously made, in order to convey that very hot topic to the audience.
My thought process was defined (unconsciously perhaps) by two key factors.
One was that, until the mid 1990s and despite all the years that had passed, the Makronisos affair was still very sensitive.
A film about Makronisos, made in the post-Junta years until the mid, 90s would be inevitably branded by the persecutions of the regime and result in a justifiably retaliatory approach.
The “New Parthenon”, a film that was made immediately after the fall of the Junta, in 1975, by the team of four (Kostas Chronopoulos, Giorgos Chrysovitsanos, Spiros Zachos and Thanassis Scroubelos), did not focus entirely on Makronisos, but featured substantial evidence about the persecutions the Left had undergone, from the Metaxas regime until the Junta, in the form of powerful testimonies by former exiles, who were still young at the time.
The other factor is derivative of that last part. Never before had a documentary on Makronisos been made and I think that had to do with it being such a delicate matter.
Only small-scale tribute documentaries for TV had been made and it would have been impossible for them to penetrate the subject in depth.
In addition, all of them had been made from the exiles’ point of view. Never had we seen the face or listened to the voice of a guard, a torturer or an officer.
For that reason, from the moment I decided to pursue this endeavor on Makronisos, I knew that it was going to be the first all-encompassing film on the topic and that it would come at a time when the audience would include a younger generation.
Even though, in my heart, I had always been on the side of the leftist exiles, I felt that, for reasons of historical truth, balance and also thoroughness, I was obliged to go in search of representatives from the opposite side. Besides, according to Marxist philosophy, everything is defined by its opposite.
In order to obtain a better understanding of what really happened and how it did happen, in order to be able to really get a sense of what the exiles felt and their 40-year-long ordeal, we needed to present the opposite point of view.
On the way, I decided that ideally I would like to follow two or three former prisoners with the camera for long periods of time and similarly, one or more representatives of the opposite side; the guards.
That would cover half or two thirds of the film.
And in the last part, both sides would return to Makronisos, where we would film, whatever could come out of such an unpredictable meeting, without any intervention from me.
It would be like a documentary-western, where the solution (psychological, moral, historical) would be given (or not) right then and there, where everything had taken place.
It would be like a western movie, where the finale would come by means of a (figurative) duel.
With all those ideas in my head, I began working on the pre-production of the film, in 2002. But then, the Greek Film Centre approved funding for “Alemaya” and therefore I fully dedicated myself to it, putting the Makronisos project aside for a while.
I finally got back to it in 2005. “Alemaya” had left me with huge debt and I was working on multiple documentaries for television.
Evi Karabatsou, a filmmaker and close friend of mine, had helped me enormously with
“Alemaya”, and I suggested, on impulse, that we worked together on this project as well, but as co-directors this time.
For a long time she was indisposed about it. She was not sure whether she wanted to get involved with that kind of subject. Besides, she was going to become a mother soon.
I went ahead with the pre-production at full speed. I had already spent many years getting prepared in every possible way. I felt I was completely ready, (if one can make such a claim).
Early on, I thought it was my duty to go to Perissos and request access to their archives.
They told me that in this case, the film would have to be under their absolute control. Otherwise, there would not offer any support.
I left without looking back.
I could not get funding for the film anywhere.
And given that I was already in the red, there was nothing I could do.
Like a godsend, my dear cousin Anna, provided the solution. She had always been there for me and she still is.
She lent me some money, which I used to buy a small professional camcorder and the essential lapel mics.
I began filming immediately, trying to find my way around the camera at the same time. My lack of skill with the camera produced rather clumsy results; ill-framed and poorly lit shots. I suggested that Evi adopt the same approach. To turn weakness into style.
Pretty soon, Evi started having problems with her pregnancy and I had to do most of the interviews alone.
For months, I kept collecting testimonies to see where they might take me. After I had selected about sixty different interviews, I started laying out the screenplay.
But I did not want the film to be a mosaic of testimonies, because that would jeopardize its unity and the ability of the audience to identify with the characters.
I had already established close contact with some of the exiles, through documentaries I had made for “Paraskinio” and other series.
I had become very close to Aleka Paizi after making her profile for “Paraskinio”. She was a piece of history herself. And she exemplified the women exiles, who had been displaced on Makronisos for three months, in the early 1950s.
With Leonidas Kyrkos, I had become close as well. And he introduced me to Ilias Staveris, who had been among those political prisoners who had refused to sign a statement of remorse. For that reason he had been put in a separate area for the unrepentant, fenced with barbed wire.
I already knew Tassos Zografos, the well-known set designer, as I had just finished a documentary portrait of him for ERT. Tassos had signed a statement of remorse and was willing to publicly admit to it on camera.
Consequently, the framework for the one of the two sides had started to take shape.
Aleka, Ilias and Tassos, the three main characters, were great storytellers and, at the same time, they were representative of three types of prisoners; women, the unrepentant and the penitent.
In addition, three more people, three emblematic figures, were selected, in order for each of them to share one story from Makronisos. Those were stories about horrific incidents of extreme violence and death.
They were Giorgos Farsakidis, the artist behind the famous Makronisos engravings, Lazaros Kyritsis and Leonidas Kyrkos.
However, what was still missing was the opposite side.
Filming was still in progress. In a number of cases, Claudio Bolivar and the now well-known, filmmaker, Angeliki Aristomenopoulou did the camera work. Whenever they could not make it, I did it myself. And Evi; whenever she could come, as she had been experiencing difficulties with her pregnancies for months.
I feel I should make mention of the tremendous help I received from two major historical archives. First and foremost, the ASKI. Vangelis Karamanolakis, Ioanna Papathanasiou, Polymeris Voglis and Tassos Sakellaropoulos offered all kinds of help, useful advice and granted me access to their invaluable archives and in particular to the photographic collection of Nikos Margaris, the man who, being an eye-witness himself, had written the two-volume history of Makronisos. After 18 years I had come full circle and I had come back to the original source, the author of the book Alekos Efremidis had suggested I read, when he first planted in me the seed for Makronisos.
The other archive collection, that offered me great material and a lot of help, was the
EDIA (Society for the Preservation of Historical Archives), chaired by Vardis Vardinoyannis (communist, exile and a distant cousin of his namesake, the famous magnate).
Besides those, there were many important people in the Greek cinema, who knowing that I had been involved with Makronisos for years, helped me and supplied me with invaluable archival footage. They were Roviros Manthoulis, Pantelis Voulgaris, Tassos Psarras and Thodoros Adamopoulos of the Greek Film Archive.
At some point, we decided to make a demo DVD and submit it to StoryDoc, a platform initiated by Kostas Spyropoulos for ERT, in 2006.
There were many entries by films that were trying to get funding, but finally Makronisos, won the first prize, to a great extent because of its very good demo.
That was a crucial point in time. A few months later, that award led to funding from the Greek Film Centre and ERT.
The film was finally financed, even if that came late. And it came, as well, during the period of the right-wing government of Karamanlis. Hard-right leader, Karatzaferis had filed a question in parliament regarding the state financing such “reactionary” films.
What was still missing, though, was the other side, for which I was searching with tenacity.
I had located some low rank officers, corporals and guards, but no one discussed, even as a joke, the possibility of talking on camera.
I decided to try the Retired Military Officers Association. I visited their offices on Harilaou Trikoupi street, but nothing came of it initially. However, I have to say that everybody there was very helpful. After several visits, and while I was on my way out, I asked the secretary to go through the list of names on the computer with me one more time.
She was fed up and said, “...What do you want?… We have checked already...Here,...there is no one...”.
As she went down the list on the computer she started automatically to read the names aloud. At some point she got to Skaloumbakas. I must have looked like those cartoons with their eyes popping out.
“...did you say Skaloumbakas?...”
I knew everything about him. He was the notorious commander of the Third Battalion in Makronisos. He had the reputation of being a ruthless anticommunist. I was almost certain he was no longer alive.
But he was. And he lived in Larissa.
I did not have the nerve to call him directly. I feared his bland rejection.
I asked the president of the Association to call him, explain what I was doing and get him to agree to see me, even for a couple of minutes.
He did call. On the other end of the phone I could hear the voice of the infamous Skaloumbakas, who was approaching 90 at the time.
He asked to talk to me. I gulped and started talking. It was as if I was talking with History itself...
He was polite but stern. I explained to him that I was making a film about Makronisos and I would really appreciate his contribution. He replied that all the books and films were made in order to “...whitewash the commies...”. and that he did not want any part in it.
Then, in all sincerity I pointed out the obvious. That by not contributing, he actually helped perpetuate what he detested; a historical documentation of Makronisos without the participation of his side. That changed him immediately. He accepted, on the condition that he was never going to be in the same room with the Bolsheviks during filming. He asked me if I was a communist. I answered frankly that I was not a communist, but not a rightist either, and that I was going to respect him and not misrepresent him through distorted editing.
That satisfied him and he invited me to Larissa for the first filming session, a couple of days later.
I went together with Evi and Angeliki. He gave us a warm welcome, despite the fact that I wore my hair in a long ponytail at the time, and was afraid that it might look bad to an ex-army officer but he seemed to take to me from the first minute.
We began filming straightaway. We were so nervous and uptight, that even though we had a multi camera setup, the footage from all three cameras was unusable; out of focus, shaky camera work, bad framing etc. (because we were so nervous, we forgot to study the room and the camera positions).
But we had earned his trust.
After a short while, we resumed filming. Skaloumbakas was seated in front of a television set watching archival films from Makronisos and testimonies from the leftists, while we filmed his reactions; correctly this time. I was no longer afraid that he was going to toss aside the mic and kick us out.
Filming was superb.
During the same period, we were making progress with the rest of the filming and traveling to Makronisos all the time.
We filmed an extraordinary story of the family, who were the island’s only inhabitants. Nikoleta, the elderly mother, had married one of the exiles at age 17. When his detention was over, she asked him to stay and live together on Makronissos. He did that with a heavy heart; and they had a son. But two years later, he left, to return only for his grandson’s christening, forty years later. Mother and son, both of the right persuasion, caught in a tangled web, where their lives had been interweaved with History, looked back as they shifted between different moods and ideologies and shared an original and puzzling account.
Another very intriguing piece of filming was when Tassos and Ilias got to watch Skaloumbakas’ interview on video and comment on it. This footage, intercut with that of Skaloumbakas commenting on them, resulted in an outstanding “discourse”. My original idea finally took shape, not on Makronisos but via television. The result was very moving and eye-opening.
The film avoided tackling some well-known and almost legendary stories, since it had been impossible to establish their veracity.
Horror prevailed on Makronisos. It was there even before one set foot on the island.
Horror preceded. There were many stories going around. One of them was the cat torture.
According to that, the prisoner was put in a sack together with a cat and subsequently, the sack was thrown out to sea. The cat would go frantic and tear the prisoner’s face apart.
Many of the interviewees mentioned that method, but none of them had seen it with their own eyes.
Another story was that of Tatakis. That one was verified and absolutely real. Tatakis had spent 33 days tied to a stake, so that he would be forced to sign a remorse statement. The guards had actually made a bet with him that he was going to cave in and sign. He won the bet by dying. Even though that incident was real, it was so powerful and precious and characteristic of a great hero, that it could not be included as a hearsay without any eye-witness to support it.
In the case of the great slaughter, which took place in late February 1948, there had been an eye-witness, Lazaros Kyritsis. And that was the reason he was featured in the film; his was one of the more peripheral, yet crucial testimonies.
Filming style, as mentioned earlier, was largely defined by my restricting technical skills in camera and lighting, at the time. It was readily adopted as the signature style and was maintained even after Claudio and Angeliki had joined the camera crew. Today, it saddens me deeply to watch this careless and unlit photography. Today, I would have made it 100 times better. It would have been flawless. Nevertheless, bad photography was the price to pay for flexible filming. A full crew and lighting equipment would probably intimidate and discourage those people from opening up their souls and fumbling their wounds. reliving their pain.
The obvious dilemma of choosing between a more personal approach and a more conventional form was eventually solved with a mixed style, comprising of observational documentary elements, clumsy, verite-like photography, confessional testimonies and a narration, that sounded like it was coming from the depths of time.
However, the guiding factor was the need for the film to communicate with the Greek audience. To be tested against audiences of different ages, addressing them with moderation about an affair that concerns all of us.
It could have been a film of high expectations, in terms of style and artistic profile, without any interviews that are usually reminiscent of a television documentary and laying emphasis on a poetic rendition of Makronisos. And it could have traveled to major international film festivals and won prizes.
But that was not the main objective. The film was reaching primarily towards the Greek audience. A conscious decision was made to adopt a modest style and maintain a low-key, in order to address the Greek audience in an exposing manner.
One of the most special days of filming was the only day the three central characters visited Makronisos; Aleka, Ilias and Tassos. We had decided not to ask any questions and let them do whatever they felt like. Each of us was filming on our own camera; I was filming Aleka, Claudio, Ilias; and Angeliki, Tassos. Evi was filming Nikoleta’s son, who was their driver.
It was such touching footage! Not only the part we used, but also everything that was left out.
And it came to be the film’s finale. I will never forget the three elderly former exiles, sitting on a bench and singing. They started with another tune and subconsciously switched in unison to “Pou na’nai o Giorgos...”,which was the song the prisoners sang on their way to Makronisos, not knowing whether they will ever get back alive.
When we reached the editing stage, we found ourselves against an enormous body of footage. 250 hours!!!
Out of the gate, it was obvious that the focus was going to be on the three people mentioned above. We decided with a heavy heart, that very important testimonies, such as Kostas Despotopoulos’, Nikos Koundouros’, Vangelis Goufas’, Christos Pasalaris’, Alexandros Argyriou’s and many others’, would be left out.
Apart from that, I soon realized that Skaloumbakas’ footage was insufficient.
Something much more profound was needed.
So, I decided to visit Larissa one more time.
I went together with Fanis Karagiorgos, in November 2007, and filmed him on two cameras.
The new footage was great. Evi and I decided that this was going to be the basis for Skaloumbakas and that the rest was going to be auxiliary footage, used mainly for the effect of “television discourse”.
Early on in the editing, a problem arose, that perhaps should have been foreseen.
It was impossible for two directors to make decisions
It was a Babel.
As a result, the first version of the film, which was presented at theThessaloniki Documentary Festival, in May 2008, had many and noticeable weaknesses.
When we returned, I suggested to Evi that I recut the film alone, with editor Panos Voutsaras, in order for there to be a uniform approach. Besides, I was the one who had been more most involved with the film from the beginning.
We agreed that every evening I would bring her up-to-date and that we would discuss how the film was developing.
And that was how things went.
I went over the entire footage without time pressure.
And many bits that had been overlooked the first time, due to the great volume of material and the pressing time, were now used to their full potential.
The new version of the film used by 70% different material than the version that had screened in Thessaloniki.
It was an entirely different cut. And the film’s finale, as described earlier, had finally found its place, since in the original version, the scene was placed in the middle of the film.
Additionally, there was a new selection of letters of the former exile, Yannopoulos, that became the backbone of the film. My good friend, Alexandros Voulgaris (aka The Boy) read these letters with sentiment in his unique style.
The result was an entirely new film.
In November 2008, the film was selected to compete in the Thessaloniki Film Festival, which is open both to fiction films and documentaries.
From the first screening, the film was very well received and it moved the audience.
It also took first place in the poll for the audience award. Personally, I did not imagine the probability of such success, as the film competed against all the fiction films of that year and by tradition the award goes to fiction.
We had no circle to support us nor did we have acquaintances in Thessaloniki. Consequently, we did not even vote for the film ourselves, that was how certain we were that it was not going to have any luck.
The second screening was even more successful and the film was being widely discussed.
And it remained first in the polls, something that culminated in the audience award, the first one ever to have been won by a documentary.
I was very happy with this award. It came without any campaign or any strings pulled by a powerful producer, backer or distribution agency.
The film was not “shouting” and attempted to tackle a very hot issue, presenting all sides in a moderate manner.
Consequently, it was not a catchy film that would get a massive audience response.
However, the award signified that the film must have established meaningful communication with the audience. That was going to be confirmed after the film’s distribution.
In the spring of 2009, the film was released and it was very successful. Even though the circumstances were unfavorable, because it was the period before Easter, there was a massive turnout. But most importantly, the film engaged the audience in a stimulating dialogue during screening. The emotional involvement of the audience was unprecedented.
To a great extent, that was due to Panagiotis Skaloumbakas. His presence was unexpected and different, since it was the first time someone like him had been on camera.
I will never forget a phone call I got, after the first month of screening. It was Lakis Karalis. The man, because of whom I had the chance to set foot on Makronisos for the first time, 12 years earlier, and then decided to make this film. I knew that Lakis was very ill with cancer and that he was hospitalized at “Evangelismos” for treatment. He called me one night, sounding very excited. He had sneaked out of the hospital and had gone to see the film. He was very emotional. He had been himself a victim of brutality during the Junta. His words were very touching. It was the last time we spoke. One month later, he died.
The film was scheduled to screen at the “Elli” for two weeks. Because of the large turnout, it was given a one-week extension. But then, after great pressure from another distributor, who collaborated with “Elli”, the film was transferred to regional movie theatres.
I remember that the owners of the cinema wanted the screening to continue, since they had a full house every evening, but there was nothing they could do and the film closed.
If the distributor had not interfered, “Makronisos” was bound to have ranked higher.
I remember vividly the evening of the film’s official premiere. It was a magnificent and emotionally charged event.
Then-President Karolos Papoulias had attended (because he was a family friend of Evi’s), as well as many notables from politics, the press and the arts.
Leonidas Kyrkos was there (since he had participated in the movie), Manolis Glezos and numerous others, but there was no representation from the Communist Party, even though they had been invited.
And, of course, the protagonists of the film were there; Ilias Staveris, Tassos Zografos, Lazaros Kyritsis and Giorgos Farsakidis. Aleka Paizi had passed away a while earlier.
It goes without saying that Panagiotis Skaloumbakas was not there either.
As I recall, many people from the audience (both well-known and unknown) walked up to the heroes of the film and embraced them; touched them. I remember Amalia Moutoussi touching Ilias Staveris. It was as if she wanted to make sure he was real.
With the exception of Rizospastis and the far-right press, the film’s reviews ranged from very good to raving.
And that, I think, was an indication that the film had achieved its goal and had dealt with a hot and controversial theme calmly and with moderation, with simplicity and a free spirit.
I believe that the story of Makronisos epitomizes the tragedy of modern Greece, and even further and wider than that, it epitomizes the human condition.
On a narrow and dry piece of land, one breath and at the same time miles away from Athens and civilization, those who wanted to enforce “order” engaged in a merciless fight with those who were willing to die for their utopia.
As far as I am concerned, that was the real venture regarding Makronisos. That is how I saw the film. Personally, I would not have liked for Greece to have been part of Real Socialism, had the Democratic Army won the civil war. It would have been a nightmare. On that account, I could have never identified myself with the desire that had overcome Aleka, Elias and Tassos, in those years.
However, since I was very close to them for a really long time, I know for a fact that they were truly honest. And honorable. I do not know what they would have done under Real Socialism. Whether they would have become part of the game or whether they would have reacted against it.
At that time, they decided to give up their lives for a chance to see a more just world, even though that was unrealistic.
They attempted to make it happen at the expense of their own lives. And for that they are poetic figures. The other side, the prison guards, even though they had a much more rational vision for the future of the country, for it to remain a part of the West, something I fully subscribe to, their methods were brutal, criminal and profoundly anti-democratic. And the West, is inextricably linked to the principles of democracy.
Hence, the film attempted to present the people rather than the events. It is not so much an ideological as an existential approach. I believe that an existential approach may lead to an ideological and political understanding of the subject. But not the other way round. This human geography which encompasses the leftists on one side and Skaloumbakas on the other, becomes some sort of a collective psychograph with archetypical characters on either side, something that concerns us all, because we are all represented therein.
I am really glad I have made this film about Makronisos.
And I feel privileged for the trust of the leftists and Skaloumbakas as well.
They were all aware that they were approaching the end of the line and their participation was a conscious political and moral legacy.