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Culture

HFS USA Presents Maria by Callas at MoMI with Remarks by Nicholas Gage

November 30, 2023

NEW YORK – The Hellenic Film Society USA presents Maria by Callas, the acclaimed documentary that tells the life story of the legendary Greek-American opera singer. Told through stunning performance footage, TV interviews, and never-before-seen home movies, family photographs, private letters, and unpublished memoirs, the film reveals the essence of the extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. The film was a New York Times Critic’s Pick when it was released in 2018.

The screening will be followed by remarks from best-selling author Nicholas Gage offering additional insights into the life and loves of Callas. Gage wrote Greek Fire: The Story of Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis. The former New York Times reporter is best known for his award-winning bestseller Eleni, about his mother’s experience during the Greek Civil War.

The documentary, directed by Tom Volf, is an intimate portrait revealing the private woman behind the public image and dispels commonly held beliefs about Callas, notably her reputation as a tempestuous diva. The film also sheds new light on Callas’ long and complicated relationship with the love of her life, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Throughout most of her life, Volf believes, the opera singer struggled to reconcile the two different women within her: Maria, the woman who longed for a normal life; and Callas, the public figure and icon with an adoring yet demanding following.

Named a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times, film critic Ben Kenigsberg called the film a “documentary that revitalizes history through primary sources, to illuminating, at times enthralling effect.”

“The Hellenic Film Society is pleased to present this insightful film that explores the fascinating life of one of the most prominent Greek-Americans of the 20th century,” says Jimmy DeMetro, president, Hellenic Film Society USA. “Interviews and home movies reveal Callas’ complexity while stunning performance footage demonstrates why she became such a legend around the world.”

The trailer for the film is available on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/h78xra7a.

For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org and follow on Facebook and Instagram. The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, is conveniently located near public transportation.

The screening is part of Always on Sunday, the Greek film series presented monthly by the Hellenic Film Society at the Museum of the Moving Image. The series is partially supported by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature and administered by Flushing Town Hall.

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