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The simple life

When you think of Greece, visions of the crumbling remains of the Parthenon and Acropolis spring to mind. But, there is another form of Greek ghost town.
February 1, 2004

When you think of Greece, visions of the crumbling remains of the Parthenon and Acropolis spring to mind. But, there is another form of Greek ghost town.

In Silent Houses, London-based Nomadic Films travels to the remote villages of Eipirus, a region in Northern Greece where entire populations have left their rural roots for the opportunities found elsewhere. Today, villages that once teemed with hundreds of townsfolk are now home to just a handful, and in some cases, a single aged couple.

Silent Houses tells the stories of the people who choose to stay put while the rest of the world moved forward. Even as major cities sprout mere kilometers away, the hold-outs remain in these modest cobble-stoned villages that have stood for nearly 1,000 years, refusing to swerve from their antiquated ways. They eat what they’ve grown, drink water they’ve fetched, and use mules as their main mode of transportation.

By focusing on the elders of these villages, Silent Houses explores the notions of tradition, community and family values, and the fine balance between man and nature. Candid interviews will reveal why these villagers believe the simple ways of the past far outweigh the complexities of the present.

Shot in digital beta cam, the project carries a budget of US$70,000 and is scheduled to wrap in June 2004. Athens-based ERT1 has signed on to broadcast and distribute in Greece, and the National Bank of Greece has agreed to sponsor. Nomadic Films is offering the project in two formats – feature-length and as a 2 x 47-minute series. VM

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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