Angelos’ Film

Angelos’ Film Péter Forgács. Hidden Histories
From 1st to 27th October | online on MyMovies

Greece, 1940: the Italian army enters Athens, and six months later the German one does. The foreign occupation will cause a clandestine movement of Greek resistance, triggering a bloody civil war. The tragedy of World War II and the effects of the Nazi occupation on Greek territory would have gone without any image if mr. Angelos Papanasstassiou, broker, first, then entrepreneur and finally city councilman in Athens hadn’t had a passion for amateur filmmaking. 

Passion which coincided with bravery, in a time when the simplest act of taking a picture was punishable by death. Endangering his own life Angelos films the Nazi barbarities, the horror of mass graves, the partisans hanged on the street, mass executions, the people’s hunger, the tortured bodies of those who survived and those whi died. Simultaneously, with his little camera, he records his family life: the birth of the daughter, the smile of his wife, the parties with friends. At the end of the war Angelos hands in to the authorities his “war films”, which will later be used as proof of the committed crimes during the Nuremberg trials.

Forgács, after a minute research, edits together the shots stolen to the war with those filmed within the family, matching the great history with the private one: with a tremendous shrill, we watch the Nazi officers as they lay down 3622 in front of the Parthenon’s pillars, and the filming of Papanasstassiou’s daughter’s firts steps. In Forgács’s film the eye watching is a two-faced organ, continuously toppling its status and its perspective: the home movies have the happiness as an object, the historical document states the fear of the social body. In this way  life and death, joy and terror stand still, in front of each other, they encircle sieging; the images make the heart beat, both that of the individual and of history.


Péter Forgács

running time


film format

video | B&W and colour






Tibor Szemzö