A scene from the film Apples starring Aris Servetalis. Photo: Courtesy of Cohen Media Group
NEW YORK – The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) presents the award-winning film Apples, Sunday, June 12, 4 PM, at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in Astoria. The presentation is part of HFS’s Always on Sunday series of monthly Greek film screenings at MoMI.
Directed by Christos Nikou in his feature film debut, Apples takes place amid a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia. Aris, portrayed by award-winning actor Aris Servetalis, finds himself enrolled in a program designed to help him build a new identity and reintegrate into society, when he meets a woman also trying to recover. The film is in Greek and English, with English subtitles.
Apples has won 17 international film festival awards, was Greece’s official submission for Oscar consideration for Best International Film, and enjoys a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Nikou has created a poignant allegorical drama reflecting on memory, identity and loss. In his notes on the film, Nikou writes: “How selective is our memory? Do we remember what we have experienced or only what we have chosen to remember? Can we forget the things that hurt us? Could it be that deep down we don’t want to forget painful experiences because without them we lose our existence? In the end, are we simply the sum of all those things we don’t forget?”
“When I had the first idea for what became Apples, about eight years ago, I was trying to get over the loss of the closest person to me, and all of these questions regarding identity and loss, memory and pain were very much on my mind,” Nikou continued. “Apples is an allegorical comedy-drama. It is at its core an effort to explore how our memory functions.”
“As a reflection on identity and loss, on memory and pain, Apples also explores what – and who – makes you the person you are, how much of this is authentically you and how much is imposed or created by others,” Nikou said. “It is exciting, and, in a way absurd, how quickly time passes from the moment we enter adulthood: how fast we forget the most important events or people in our lives, when at the same time we might very clearly remember insignificant details and sensations.”
“I also wanted to explore how emotions affect our memory, and how nowadays our memory is affected by technology, which makes it all too easy to record and store information,” Nikou pointed out. “Could it be that all these technological advances have made our brain ‘lazier’ and thus we recall fewer and fewer events, fewer and fewer emotions?”
“Making your life revolve around goals and aims set for you by a self-appointed external authority is at the heart of social media use, be it Instagram campaigns or Tik Tok challenges,” Nikou continued. “Have we submitted our memories and emotions to these authorities? Could it be that we have ended up living ‘less’?”
“The tasks my characters are told to do as part of their therapy are commonplace,” the director said. “Take having to ride a bike, for example. That is something that is very hard to forget once you have learned how to do it. It’s a symbol of a remembered experience, a memory that is re-created by external forces, by other people. I think this happens to all of us – we are often not living our own lives, and we imitate things others do. Technology and social media have made this much easier. You don’t need to keep things in your mind anymore, you store your memories in your computer or publicly in your social media feed.”
For further information or to purchase tickets to the film, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497 and follow on Facebook and Instagram. The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, is conveniently located near public transportation.
An interview with Apples director Christos Nikou, conducted by Constantina Konugres and HFS president Jimmy DeMetro, is also available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QnYM89ihKPI.
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