GEOGRAPHY OF MEMORY
The idea :
People become emotionally attached to places that have the power to evoke memories. Some of these places sustain the continuity of memory, while others are contested, under evaluated or purposely forgotten when they can no longer support meanings once stored in them.
This is the basic idea behind our documentary film, “Geography of Memory” which reveals the connection between the World War II experiences of Greek Jews with the so-called “memory-scapes,” i.e. places throughout the country which are loaded with largely ignored personal and/or collective memories.
This is not just another film about the Holocaust, concentration camps and Nazi atrocities. Nor is it a piece of work based on archives aiming at collecting as many voices as possible for traditional historical purposes.
From one point of view, “Geography of Memory” is a collection of the personal stories of eleven different people, all of whom are Jews living in Greece, affected by their Greek identity in one or way or another. Three of them belong to the tiny minority of Greek Jews who were hidden and saved, while the others were deported to Auschwitz –Birkenau and Bergen Belsen from where they managed to survive and return to Greece in 1945 or 1946.
From another, the film relates all of these peoples’ voices not to something abstract, but to the very concrete loci of modern everyday life: houses where our informants lived in before being caught by the Nazis which today house shops and stylish coffee houses; the route local Jews had to follow before becoming entrapped in ghettos which today form basic city axes full of buses, cars and consumers; destroyed synagogue courts which today form car parks, the fences of a ghetto today covered by modern buildings; the idyllic shore of lake where the Jews of Ioanina where caught, today an important sight for tourist and locals who enjoy the scenery; places where some of these people were hidden, resisted or escaped to freedom.
: Nikos Chrisikakis
Research : Dr.Esther Solomon
Exec.Producer : M.Giachnaki
Original music : Ioannis Andriotis