WASHINGTON, DC – The acclaimed film Kazantzakis, directed by Yannis Smaragdis, was screened on February 17 in the packed auditorium at American University’s Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC. In spite of the fact that it was a holiday weekend with many away on vacation for Presidents’ Day, the auditorium was filled and several people who had neglected to buy advanced tickets waited at the entrance of the theater for any cancellations.
Smaragdis sent a message to all those present especially for the screening which was read by Magdalene Kantartzis, Hellenic Society Prometheas Vice President, as a fitting introduction to the film. In his letter, Smaragdis, among other things, noted that with Kazantzakis he was able to give his love for this great writer who adored Greece so much he described it as “heaven on earth” and glorified internationally the Greek Culture, noting that his father’s house was 300 meters from that of Kazantzakis’ home. Smaragdis noted that the best way to feel the “perfume of the heart of this film is to watch through the eyes of a child.”
The film depicted the life of the renowned Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis with fantastic cinematography and endearing music; it excited, moved, and brought many to tears. Not only a great writer and thinker, Kazantzakis was also a philosopher. Nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he searched all his life for freedom and the meaning of life and was well-portrayed by actor Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos. The marvelous Marina Kalogirou (Eleni) showed sincerity and a quiet elegance as his wife who was a constant beacon in his life, helping type his manuscripts. Their love story was uplifting to witness. His friends, Giorgis Zorbas played by Thodoris Atheridis, who danced and sang into the audience’s heart, and the gifted poet Angelos Sikelianos played by Nikos Kardonis, gave excellent performances.
Many in the audience expressed their appreciation for Smaragdis and thanked the organizers, the Hellenic Society Prometheas, for the wonderful film brought to Washington, DC. Several people wanted to learn more about this great Greek writer and thinker.