St. Katherine Film Series Highlights Smyrna Documentary & ISIS Threat

St. Katherine Film Series Highlights Smyrna Documentary & ISIS Threat




“SMYRNA:  DESTRUCTION OF A COSMOPOLITAN CITY,” a documentary film directed by Maria Iliou in English/Greek subtitles, will be shown free to the public on Friday, February 20, at 7 p.m., in the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church Cultural Hall, 7100 Airport Pulling Road, Naples, FL.

Nearly 100 years ago, Christians in Asia Minor – Armenians, Greeks, Pontics, Assyrians, and others – were eliminated from their native land by Islam/Turkey.  Nearly 5 million souls (about 25%) of the total population were exterminated or expelled, including 1.5 million Armenians.  Today, parallel genocide by ISIS is occurring in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other area of the Middle East.  Christianity is being eliminated from its’ place of birth.

In the documentary of the destruction of Smyrna (now known as Izmir) in 1922, parallel images are depicted of what may be happening today in Mosul, Kobane, and other Middle Eastern locations.  While this documentary is poignant and painful, it does not show violent images of killings & torture.

According to the International Movie Data Base (IMDB), “Having carried out four years of research, the director and curator, Maria Iliou, and the historical consultant, Alexander Kitroeff, who previously presented ‘The Journey’ at the Benaki Museum in 2007, now present their work on Smyrna via previously unseen visual materials from archives from the US and Europe. The historical documentary and exhibition have special importance not only because they present these previously unknown images of Smyrna but also because Iliou and Kitroeff bring a new perspective; a perspective that keeps its distance from both an excessive nationalistic narration of the tale, and from more recent attempts to conceal the tragic events of the disaster, thereby distorting the truth. Even though the cosmopolitan city of Smyrna was destroyed, through this work it continues to live on in some way. It continues to be an idea that has to do with cosmopolitanism, with joie de vivre and with disaster. 90 years after the disaster, this documentary and the photographic exhibition pay tribute to the world which was lost in 1922 while at the same time paying tribute to the discipline of history. Historians from the US and Europe present us with the big picture while first, second and third generation Smyrniots narrate personal stories. Three of them in particular recount family stories in relation to the events from a Greek, Armenian and Turkish perspective, from the years of cosmpolitanism to the time of the destruction. Editor Aliki Panagi used sounds from the period as the soundscape of the film, in order to bring the events to life, while the musician Nikos Platyrachos used songs from Smyrna and hits of the time when composing his original music. The archival visual materials were collected and preserved by the not for profit organization PROTEUS thanks to sponsorship from the BODOSSAKIS Foundation. The rare film by Robert Davidian found in Los Angeles was preserved by Colorlab in Washington DC.”

The film will begin promptly at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30.  Registration is not required.  An interview with the film maker is available through this link. A discussion will follow the screening.


(New York Times headline on the Fire.)

Questions about this release??    

Please contact Carol Dimopoulos at 2239-331-4470

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