"A festival is something personal. Each one of us lives his own festival”
- Yorgos Krassakopoulos, Head of Programming
Art can provide a balm for the modern soul, or so Monet would have us think. But in Thessaloniki it is difficult to forget that one is in Greece. Local protests against capitalism are a daily occurrence; it is a country from which 400,000 people have emigrated, most of whom won't return. A generation has been decimated, as if by war.
The obituary of art-house cinema is also said to have been written by capitalism— the proliferation of technology spurned a revolution in filmmaking ease, attended by a migration toward quantity rather than quality by studios and consumers alike.
The 57th annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival, however, has a vibe of willful ignorance, celebrating what the industry seems intent on leaving behind: this year's tribute belonged to avant-garde French filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux, for example. A host of Greek features alongside encore showings from Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Sarajevo, and Venice populated this year's slate at Greece's most prestigious film festival.
Filmatique's top films of Thessaloniki, below: