For some reason it was decided to assign to me the episode on the most difficult and hot issue in the series.
Amalia Zepou, whom I already knew, told me that there was a pending episode,
pertaining to the global and continuous involvement of the Church in the way History and Religion are taught at school and in higher education in Greece.
With that in mind, we, in effect, had to examine to what degree this close embrace had led many generations of Greek students to traditionalism and stagnation.
There were pitfalls around every corner. We were handling the hottest potato, not only in Greek Education, but also in Greek society historically, from 1830 until the current day.
We decided to treat the picture not as a TV episode, but as a documentary film.
And filming lasted eight months!!!
It was one of the very few occasions, in which I had a fully functioning producer by my side.
Amalia worked phenomenally. And next to her, Maria Tsinga (who eventually became a producer in her own right) had done a first-rate, behind-the-scenes job.
After effective and efficient research, they would furnish me with facts and events in order for me to arrive at an expansive and graphic composition, that would leave nothing out.
We went into the offices of the Teachers of Religion Association, in Halkokondili street, where an actual altar had been set up, all ready to administer Holly Communion, and we caught some eye-opening scenes.
At the same time, we examined the significance of school parades and their connection to the Metaxas Regime, and also how teaching Religion and History was distorted
and whether it would be possible for Balkan history to be taught through a non-nationalistic point of view, and with textbooks authored by historians from all related countries.
And all that, in a logic of assimilation with the multicultural population that was already extensive then and is much larger now.
I have to stress the contribution of my editor and friend, Panos Voutsaras. Once again, he did an exceptional job, having to deal with an oversized volume of heterogeneous footage.
There were many bold choices in what we decided to present, which sparked a furious outcry in circles of the far-right.
It is one of the boldest and most radical films I have ever made.
It was the only time I got to work with my good friend Alexis Grivas.
I recall an almost surreal incident, while we were filming at the Theologists’ Association.
During shooting of the Holy Communion and the minister’s preachings about the redemption of the lost lands and Archbishop Christodoulos, Alexis handed me a small lighter he had found laying about.
At first, I did not pay any attention, but he insisted. The lighter was printed with a picture of...Che Guevara!!!
“...did you bring this with you...?”, I whispered
“...are you crazy?...”, he whispered back.