What is it that makes some people engage with the life and work of Yiannis Theodorakis? What most of the people know is his important poetic work and his timeless influence on artistic Greek song with the amazing musical compositions of his brother, Mikis Theodorakis. But what is not known and which made us to search and finally accent it,is his great contribution to journalism with his serious historical revelations and his struggles during dark periods of contemporary Greek history. For us this was a challenge, since many of the pieces of his life have been lost or forgotten. So this documentary is the revelation of all these aspects that finally give the real dimension of the poet and activist journalist, Yiannis Theodorakis.
We hope we succeeded.
So we wish you happy viewing!
Stelios and Antonis Diamantis
Directing the life of a person for a documentary is an oxymoron. Especially when this person was a poet, an activist political journalist whose articles revealed social truths . This documentary film is the first one I have directed, on the life and work of Yiannis Theodorakis.
I have always been interested in Art in the work material that contains a document. That is, the creation starts from life, from a real event. My work in theatre is also based on this approach.
The documentary as a kind of artistic creation moves somewhere in twilight between truth and myth. The creator who tries to record and relive the event ,tries to balance between these two.
When I started to deal with the planning and direction of the film I was not so discouraged by the desperate lack of means to make it happen. Besides,i justified all this by thinking: "everyone pays for his freedom" since we had no sponsorship from anywhere except the help of some friends, so wec ould choose with my brother to do what we thought was best . The most difficult thing for me was to find and present through the testimonies of those who speak about John, the historical person on the one hand but also the "private" person on the other.
But who was John? The central element that piqued my interest arose from a question and an ascertainment that is heard as a testimony in the film, and when I heard it I realized why I wanted to make this documentary: "it was always "back"..... which usually the "behind" ones are also the very important ones"
I think this phrase characterizes the essence of the life of Yiannis Theodorakis, the essence of Art but also of life itself. Of the victory of light over darkness. Of man's strength to stand up when he falls. Of his love for freedom, dignity, equality, the whole nature.
His Cretan roots are a seal of his modesty, the silence which he indicated with his poetry, his bond with nature, his love for man and the good life. Values far from showing and affectation, of the temporary recognition of the meaningless associations and vanity.
The other great Cretan world-famous writter, Nikos Kazantzakis, puts as a subtitle in his book "Ascetica" the phrase: Salvadores Dei. This is exactly the life and work of Yiannis Theodorakis: A struggle, a fight to "Save God " as demonstrated by Kazantzaki’s glance upon existence.
"Dig! What do you see?"
"Men and birds, water and stones."
"Dig deeper! What do you see?"
"Ideas and dreams, fantasies and lightening flashes!"
"Dig deeper! What do you see?"
"I see nothing! A mute Night, as thick as death. It must be death."
"Ah! I cannot penetrate the dark partition! I hear voices and weeping. I hear the flutter of wings on the other shore."
"Don't weep! Don't weep! They are not on the other shore. The voices, the weeping, and the wings are your own heart."
So this heart is the center and essence of life of the poet and fighter Yiannis Theodorakis who sends us the message: "Yes.....we can hope again".