06/12/12From http://www.protothema.gr/blogs/blogger/post/?aid=232196 Thank you, Mr. Smaragdis It is true that God Loves Caviar wasn’t great. Smaragdis exaggerated greatly and apart from Sebastian Koch’s performance, all other portrayals did not come up to my expectations. Shall I take it a tad further? Performances by Papakaliatis and Lazopoulos were laughable and so was Kostas Sommer’s brief appearance, let alone the unacceptable dubbing of Iannis Vouros and other Greek cast members. Having fractional knowledge in cinema and theatre, I can honestly say that God Loves Caviar would never be included in the pantheon of the great European productions or be compared to Tarkovskiy, Goddard, Kusturica, Wenders; not even to our very own Angelopoulos. But one place it would definitely take center stage would be in our hearts. It’s a soulful film that doesn’t focus on aesthetic or writing standards. It’s a film created to uplift the Greek spirit in these dire times. A 100% Greek effort that reminds us of the pros and cons of our people. How heroic or how despicable Greeks can become. It shows our magnificence and our dark side, as Varvakis eloquently says to his “baddy” co-star in the end. It is a film about Greek savvy and the success of our race outside of Greece, as well as the miserable Greece where within its borders conspires to promote mediocrity and leave the worthy ones behind. A country that went to war with itself when the fight for independence was still raging. For these harsh truths alone we should be thankful to Iannis Smaragdis, a respected director, who visualizes a new “Greek spirit” and a disconnection – finally – from a barren antiquity. He is a Greek that should be honoured because through his work he has finally done something that we as modern Greeks have forgotten. He pays tribute to our grand ancestors in a country where values are being ignored. Smaragdis taps us on the shoulder and introduces a country of unlimited creation, another Greece that once indeed existed. I urge you to go and see God Loves Caviar, even though it doesn’t strictly center on Ioannis Varvakis’ life and tribulations, but rather focuses on who we are, with our good and bad traits. Pay no attention to the autistic reviews of “insignificant” critics that judge each movie by aesthetic criteria only, especially since some of them constantly vilified Angelopoulos or took Pantelis Voulgaris apart; moreover, these are the same people that commended every Czech, Hungarian, Iranian director, thus promoting major snoozes during screenings, while at the same time scrutinizing everything good that comes out of this country. These are the “bad guys” that Smaragdis depicts with such clarity in his film. For years these nobodies have been living under certain political establishments, always preventing the Greek people to be encouraged through a patriotic film, filled with love for a benefactor of our clan. They are people that follow endorsements, lackeys from the Greek Film Centre that snub ideas and individuals who are being disagreeable. They are pleased when the Greeks forget their nationality and goof around with foreign trends and styles. P.S.: I have only commented about the left party critics, so allow me to say something further: This film is a slap in the face to modern Greek business moguls too. I do suggest this film to Mr. Filippou and Mr. David of FAGE and Coca-Cola companies that just recently moved outside of Greece. Anyone who professes of being a “real” Greek should really open their eyes and see who the true Greek is; it’s those who financially bled for the country and didn’t abandon it when the going got tough. I am no historian, but I sincerely believe that we will not be seeing similar films about benefactors like Varvakis in the next 100 or 200 years. Not for these selfish capitalists –who through their actions have proven that they never loved their country.