“[In the 1960s], a significant and well-organized cinephile culture developed around film societies, film schools, film seminars, and film writing, which were closely connected and interacted. […] Τhis time a strong sense of comradeship also flourished, with several collectives […] working as assistant directors in the industry and collectively making films. Among them the most distinguished were the ‘EDA element of cinema’ and ‘I omada ton pente’ [‘Group of Five’]. The ‘Group of Five’ consisting of Roviros Manthoulis, Roussos Koundouros, Yannis Bacoyannopoulos, Iraklis Papadakis, and Fotis Mestheneos (the latter two were students of Manthoulis at Stavrakos Film School) was a collective that, through screenings and lectures, promoted the idea of documentary in Greece and made several short documentaries.Thus cinema was considered a subject of interest that extended much beyond filmmaking and film writing per se. Film theory was seen as being closely connected to film practice and collective activism was widespread, organizing events, establishing institutions and editorial enterprises that promoted art and oppositional cinema.” (Maria Chalkou)
At this year’s SIFF, the screening of two extremely rare films produced by this group, considered lost for decades, not only brings to light an overlooked side of Greek film production, but also sheds a different light on the legacies of complexity embedded within Greek cultural history, suggesting different ways to work and live in this country’s collective reality.