Angelopoulos’ Greece-austerity drama The Other Sea shoots in December
by Joseph Proimakis
30/11/2011 - Theo Angelopoulos, Palme d’ Or winning director of Eternity and a Day, is to start principal photography for The Other Sea the day after Christmas. Funds have been secured from Italy, Turkey and Greece (France and Germany are also expected to chip in) and Italian actor Toni Servillo (Il Divo [trailer, film focus]) was announced as his star in Turin.
With a budget in the €4-5 million range, Angelopoulos’ drama will juggle the ever-popular illegal immigration issue through the story of a business man turned politician (Servillo). An “intellectual criminal”, as the director puts it, who plays a key part in a ring of traffickers moving people from FYROM and Albania through Greece and into Italy. Hence Rome-based Classic Srl’s involvement in the project as the main producer.
However, the film will also be documenting the economic hardships of modern-day Greece as well as their sociological impacts, through the politician’s relationship with his daughter, portrayed by newcomer Irini Stratigopoulou, as a budding actress who is trying to stage a production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera inside a factory that used to employ many illegal workers.
Amedeo Pagani, who will be producing for Classic, explained: “The play is a metaphor for the situation of Greece today,” which the acclaimed director has previously described as hopeless: “The situation is terrible, all that we fought for did not come to be, Europe was a dream that collapsed very quickly and I see no way out,” he told the Italian press last summer.
Scripted by Angelopoulos with input from Cretan writer Rhea Galanaki and long-time collaborator acclaimed novelist Petros Markaris, the film will shoot for four to six weeks mainly in Athens, using the city’s historic Rex theatre as a location, as well as the Piraeus harbour. Some shooting is scheduled to take place in Patrai, while local heart-throb Christos Loulis, comedic legend Dimitris Piatas and acclaimed character-player Errikos Litsis will be heading the Greek cast.