Between two Centuries - Contemporary Greek Cinema and the Readings of Ancient Greek Tragedy


In the present paper, the Greek films that have made use of ele­ments from ancient tragedy and myth while commenting on the current polit­ical and social changes in Greece, the Balkans and Europe, are recorded andcritically presented. Ancient myth and ancient tragedy adaptations in Greekcinematography during the 21st century are determined by the landmarksof the 2004 Olympic Games and the consequences of the 2010 economic/so­cial crisis. After describing all types of films — and especially those of TheoAngelopoulos —, the paper focuses on the relation of ancient tragedy withcontemporary immigration experience in the films Hades (1996, Stelios Char­alampopoulos) and Hostage (2005, Constantine Giannaris). In Hades, the fic­tional Heracles brings back Alcestis from the “Hades” of Hoxha’s regime inAlbania. Constantine Giannaris in Hostage (2005) connects the tragedy ofSophocles’s Aias with xenophobia and the construction of maleness. An Indexof the relevant films of the period (1989-2018) is included.