The formation of a Greek-Australian film society

Not so long ago I posted Philotimo, Leventia and the tale: the moral Necessity of Greek-Australian narratives and Tha Sou Po tin Alitheia: Authenticity and Truth Narration.

I highlighted the critical importance of sustaining Greek-Australian culture through a variety of storytelling mediums – film, literature, music and the visual arts. I also point out the potential dangers of resorting to tried and tested forms of “ethnic” humor, which no doubt has its place, but risks degrading the immigrant experience into something without substance or depth.

Declining levels of literacy among Greek-Australians regarding their ancestral language, particularly among the third and fourth generations, is a symptom of growing ‘Australiafication’ and – in some respects – ‘Westernisation’, as our people adopted the socio-cultural system. standards of our new home in an attempt to assimilate.

There is, indeed, no intrinsic evil in all this. Of course Australia is the land of milk and honey. There’s a reason our ancestors left Greece to seek a better life down below.

We should embrace the very ground on which we walk, as our fathers and grandfathers did when they arrived on the Patris or any other immigrant ship.

But that doesn’t mean we forget who we are, as Greeks and Australians. As ellinoaustraloi. From the earliest times, our ancestors told stories about who they were in order to fuse cultural ties. The Iliad and The Odyssey were, at one time, the foundational stories of Hellenic culture. If one were to ask, “Who are the Greeks?” they would quickly be directed to a chapter of these great works of literature for an answer.

So, in our current circumstances, the question must be put to ourselves. What do we, as Greek-Australians, point to as our core stories? Which stories provide the best representation of who we are as an ethnicity?

This is, I believe, the task of a Greek-Australian film society. We are to act as a memory bank, to remind current and future generations of Greek-Australians who we are, what principles we should embody and the “great commission” – if you will – to share these great principles across the world. broader culture.

I propose to center this community around 5 core virtues – virtues that should be reflected in the filmmaking process itself, and ultimately in the stories we tell. These are: – Philotimo, Leventia / Andreia, Agapi, Eros, and Philoxenia.

Philotimo is the disposition to overwhelming generosity and hospitality. Leventia / Andreia constitutes a fiery and virile soul, not much, the person who is ready to risk everything for the good of his neighbor and loved ones. A gapI am divine Love, a burning flame of the heart that drives people to acts of compassion and self-sacrifice. Eros is the primordial yet transcendent longing for all that is beautiful, both in the world and in the heavens. To finish, philoxenia is the love of the stranger, the bravery to embrace the stranger despite the possible risk of doing so.

In my opinion, these principles exemplify what it means to be a true Greek-Australian. Our food, our language and our customs can only take us so far. We must resurrect what lies beneath the surface, the fundamental ideals of ellinismsto vitally support and showcase our culture to the world.

The stories we feature can revolve around a variety of topics, including but not limited to: Mythoi – heroes and gods of old, including local folklore, Poleme – historical wars and persecutions, including local struggles and disputes, Erota – chivalrous examples of romantic love, even against popular norms, Pathoi – the pursuit of noble passions, even in defiance of common society, Metanastefsi – immigration stories, including the lives of first, second and third generation Greek Australians.

Film companies such as Byzantfest and the Greek Film Festival here in Melbourne have already done a great job. Alongside these groups, we should nurture the Greek language in films and continue to forge strong ties with the wider Greek diaspora in Australia, around the world and in Greece itself. We can all work as a unit, a democratic whole, with the above principles as a common guide.

Let’s create beautiful stories that will last forever.

Stin ygia mas.

Nikita Christos Chronis is an actor, filmmaker, producer and model currently completing his honors degree in Film and Television at Swinburne University.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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