It is quite an achievement, this film by Marco Gastine, French-Greek filmmaker, based in Greece, a film about the campaign that led up to May 2012 parliamentary elections in the country with a crisis everyone still talks and writes about. Gastine has chosen the observational camera style to follow 4 candidates from the parties PASOK, SYRIZA, NEW DEMOCRACY and GOLDEN DAWN, and he does it a way that information is conveyed competently about what the candidates and the parties stand for, how much they invest in the campaigns (in the film PASOK and NEW DEMOCRACY lead strongly in this respect), and first of all what the main issues were/are.
For a foreigner with reasonable knowledge about Greece, having travelled there many times in the last years, the content is easy to follow and very interesting as Gastine has succeeded to get backstage. There are scenes that give you goose pimples when you attend meetings of the (is fascist the right word?) Golden Dawn party (”Blood, Honour, Golden Dawn”, ”Greece belongs to the Greeks”), whereas a meeting with the PASOK candidate in a private house sitting room reflects more civilised and sensible discussion about ”why did we end up in this situation?”. Also a scene with the NEW DEMOCRACY candidate and a man, who presents his wish to be his personal body guard after the election (he does get in), illustrates tragic-comical how desperate the situation for people must be in Greece now.
Two of the candidates get elected – the ones from the extreme left SYRIZA and extreme right GOLDEN DAWN. We follow the sympathetic woman from SYRIZA climbing the stairs to the Parliament for the inauguration with her old mother, a sweet scene, an example of the film’s quality that it has caught the human side of a process that led to nothing, as a new election was called for to be held in June. This is the first professional documentary about a Greece in crisis, I have seen, well done.
Greece, 95 mins., 2012