Like Stone Lions at the Gateway into Night – by Oliver Zuchuat, Saturday, 23.01., 13:00 (Hall 1)

France, Greece, Switzerland 2012, 89′, Greek/French with German subtitles

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Plot:

Between 1947 and 1950, more than 80 000 Greek citizens were imprisoned on the isle of Makronisos (Greece) in reeducation camps created to ‘fight the spread of communism’. Among these exiles were a number of writers and poets, including Yannis Ritsos and Tassos Livaditis. Despite the deprivation and torture, these prisoners succeeded in composing poems, which describe their struggle for survival in this world of internment. These texts, some of them buried in the camps, were later found. «Like Lions of stone at the gateway of night» blends these poetic writings with the reeducation propaganda constantly piped through the camps’ loudspeakers. Long tracking shots take us on a trance-like journey through the camp ruins, interrupted along the way by segments from photographic archives. A cinematic essay, which revives the memory of forgotten ruins and a battle lost.

Olivier Zuchuat

is born in 1969 in Geneva (Switzerland). After studying theoretical physics and literature (EPFL Swiss Polytechnical School – Lausanne,Trinity College – Dublin) he became a teaching assistant at the Université de Lausanne (Switzerland). He directed several theatrical productions of plays by Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Müller before turning to documentary cinema. In 1998 and 1999, he was assistant for the german director Matthias Langhoff. From 2006 to 2011, he has been teaching film studies at the Université de Paris-Est Marne la Vallée. Since 2011, he teaches often at LA FEMIS Cinema School (Paris). In 2015-2016, he is professeur at HEAD-Genève (Département Cinéma/cinéma du réel).He often works as film editor and lives between France and Switzerland. Films: Djourou a rope round your neck (2004), Far from the Villages (2008), Like Stone lions at the Gateway into nights (2012), Matthias Langhoff, the door is open (2015).