The economic crisis takes centre stage at the annual Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which kicks off on Friday.
Many Greek filmmakers have contributed worked exploring how austerity and recession have challenged civil society.
The festival, now in its 16th year, will bring together 112 films including 60 local productions. By the time it ends on March 23, it expects to have welcomed at least 45,000 viewers in the northern port-city of Thessaloniki.
While the international line-up includes works dealing with many subjects, local filmmakers have largely focused on the financial crisis and austerity policies that have trapped Greece in recession for more than six years.
Among the picks is The Godmother, a documentary portrait of one of the world’s most powerful women and a key player in Europe’s debt saga, Angela Merkel. The documentary details her rise from a humble childhood to chancellor of Germany.
Also related to the crisis is Stathis Galazoulas’ The Other Human, which chronicles the decision by one man to set up a portable soup kitchen in different part of Athens, offering his fellow citizens food and solidarity but also human contact and respect.
Greek filmmaker, Magdalini Remoundou documents mournful images of dereliction, desolation and decay in central Athens and its suburbs in the film 2013 Open Air Cinemas In Athens, while Lost Signal of Democracy chronicles the controversial shutdown of Greece’s state TV and radio broadcaster in 2013 after 75 years of continuous operation.
Keeping with the financial crisis theme is Point Of No Return, which shows contemporary Greece and the challenges faced by its people, and Antonis Tolakis’s Sunflower Seeds, which documents the life of a 12-year-old migrant boy who works all day selling sunflower seeds for his survival.
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival features daily workshops, discussions and exhibition. It also hosts one of the largest markets in the Balkans for creative documentaries, putting filmmakers in touch with buyers from Europe, the United States and Canada.