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The First Talkie Produced in Greece, a Lost Classic Found again

Jan 22, 2020
The first Greek film with sound and speech, considered lost for many decades, was found in the Cinémathèque Française archives. It now returns to the big screen at Stavros Niarchos Hall with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), through a collaboration between the Greek Film Archive Foundation and the Greek National Opera (GNO).

The Apaches of Athens, the 1930 film by the Brothers Gaziadis, is based on Nikos Hadjiapostolou and Giannis Prineas’s operetta of the same title and constitutes the first attempt to produce a “talking picture” in Greece.

The film, starring legendary figures of the Greek music scene such as Petros Kyriakos, Mary Sayanou, Petros Epitropakis, Giannis Prineas, and others, is an important and—until now—lost link in the history of early Greek cinema. The key power of this filmed operetta lies in the lofty aesthetics of its filming, which splendidly records some of the most significant landmarks of Athens and its surroundings while capturing everyday life in the 30s in the areas of Plaka, Psyrri, the Agora, Thissio, Gazi, Haftia, Syntagma Square, Omonia, Stadiou and Panepistimiou streets, and even the Tatoi Palace.

The film will be screened with live musical accompaniment, in an effort to restore the work’s original—and forever lost—soundtrack. After its re-premier at the GNO, the restored copy of the film will travel to major film festivals of early cinema around the world.

The world premiere of the restored copy will take place on Saturday, February 15 at 20:00 at the GNO’s Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Admission is free.

The performance features the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra and Greek National Opera Soloists, with conductor Anastasios Symeonidis

Find out more here.