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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 3 September 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2016 19 The crew spoke with taxi drivers outside Syntagma Square. A young Greek volunteer at the City Plaza refugee hotel in downtown Athens. The film also features the opinions of professors from the University of Athens. with? Whose perspectives are you showing through the film? We have spoken to youth anarchists in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia, students of psychology and theology from the University of Athens, professors from the University of Athens, doctors, taxi cab drivers, fishermen, athletes, [and] the homeless on the streets of Omonoia. We have even been in contact with world-famous composer Mikis Theodorakis who, due to his health, could not appear on camera but is willing to write us a letter detailing his perspective on youth identity. We spent an entire week documenting a youth development camp in the village of Kiveri run by Canadian Greek John Karkalatos who, for the past 16 years, has used the game of basketball as a means to instil values of teamwork, selfworth, and national pride in the youth of the village. We spoke with over a dozen different kids, between the ages of 8 and 24, right there in the village. Imagine all of these perspectives intertwined. We are rebuilding the bridge of communication that I feel has been missing for all of these years. And to reiterate, I fully expect to speak with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. What response has the project received thus far? When we were in the anarchist neighbourhood of Exarcheia, I'll be honest, many residents of that community did not appreciate our cameras. At one point, I received a call telling me that 10 members of the community had slung together 25 Molotov cocktails with the intention of bombing us. There is so much anger, frustration, and lack of trust in some of these neighbourhoods where youth anarchy is prevalent. It isn't their fault. For so long they have been oppressed and their opinions unheard. That is the perfect recipe for cultivating civil unrest and I hope to reverse some of that hopelessness through this film. On the other hand, in virtually every other community, we were welcomed with open arms, specifically in the village of Kiveri and at John's camp. I can't even begin to express my gratitude for how we were embraced. And now we are running a GoFundMe campaign to recoup our flight and equipment costs, which we had to pay out of our own pockets. The support from the international community, and specifically from so many of our family and friends, has been amazing so far. Have you noticed similar opinions emerging about the Greek youth? What is the general sentiment? One thing I found so astonishing was the level of accountability from the older generations. Whether it be the 60-year-old taxi cab driver or the 70-year-old fisherman, they each apologised to me on behalf of their generations. They acknowledged how this nation has been mishandled for so many decades and had a full understanding of the mess the Greek youth of today have inherited. They understand why there is so much anger, frustration and hopelessness, but are begging for the young Greeks of today to unify in a way they never could. Many definitely condemn the anarchist mentality and often refer to those kids as criminals. But many in the country acknowledge the fact that we have a very strong post-secondary institution in Greece that is pushing out some brilliant young minds. The intelligence and creativity of the Greek youth has never been in question. What is in question is their ability to cultivate those talents, reinvest in their country, and do so while working together with the rest of the nation. If that happens, Greece will rise again as it always has. Why do you think it's important to tell this story? For the immediate future, and as much as it pains me, Greece is in for some tough times. Amid this chaos there lies a silver lining, which are the 10- and 20-year-olds growing up in this nation in search of who they will become and how they will contribute to the world around them. I made this film so that they understand that there are people out there who care about what they have to say, their issues, their ideas, and the Greece they imagine for the future. We have to give these kids our vote of confidence. We have to back them and put weight behind their opinions. I am doing so in the best way I know how and that is to put them on camera and share their voice with the international community. To help make this film on Greek youth identity a reality, visit www.gofundme.com/2nxzzs5k Filmmaker Panayioti Yannitsos (L) and his fellow crew member. Filming a local fisherman.
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