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The stone that does not smile - documentary by Filippos Koutsaftis

This excellent documentary about Elefsina / Eleusis is called in the Greek language 'Agelastos Petra' made by Filippos Koutsaftis. 

Agelastos petra (2000) - IMDb

Another translation of the title can be "the mourning stone". The myth has it that Demeter sat on this stone and was sad as her daughter had disappeared into Hades or Hell. Fortunately she reappeared in spring time. It marks the connection of the earth to the four seasons, but this myth reminds as well of Odysseus who goes down into Hades and there meets most of his friends with whom he had fought in Troy. Wondering why they ended up in Hades, they all tell him that they are here because their wives were unfaithful. Only Penelope was the exception, yet this too has a counter story in the form of a poem by Katerina Anghelaki Rooke about Penelope resisting the friars with her own tricks only women know too well how to deploy in order to fool the men. Having said that, the question is what distinguishes myths from certain rumours or chilling stories which can chill the bones and thicken the blood when told to an innocent audience?

It is a documentary about contemporary industrial culture and traces of history in this ancient site and at the same time a heavy industrialised city. It was shoot over a stretch of ten years. Such observations of daily life over the stretch of ten years allow a working with change. How people are affected when major and minor changes occur in their immediate surroundings and in the relationship of the city not only to Athens, but to the sea. While they would be able to swim in their childhood days, the construction of factories, in particular the cement producing one, sabotages all dreams of having free access to nature and to the sea. Altough it is a basic cultural premise in Greece that everyone should have free access to the sea, the cement factory sealed off all access to the sea.

To trace pain, this is more than mere anguish to be shouted out into the night sky. What the documentary shows above all are the stories told by the faces of the people who live there.


More about this writer and film director, see

A second documentary by Filippos Koutsaftis is called "Hail Arcadia", and likewise is about the myths of a special place. It had after its premiere at the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival where it was awarded by FIPRESCI for best film. Its first screening took place at the 21 International Cinema Festival of Athens will come to Athens and Thessaloniki theatres on October 15, 2015

See: Διάβασε περισσότερα στο: Awarded documentary "Hail Arcadia" by Filippos Koutsaftis in Athens and Thessaloniki theatres on Oct.15 | Greek News |
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HF 17.10.2015

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