12th International Archaeological and Cultural Film Festival – Day 3

Entertainment  -  Cinema

22 May 2024


Greek Film Archive

Megalou Alexandrou 136, Athens


The 12th edition of AGON International Archaeological and Cultural Film Festival is here. The organization celebrates its 28th anniversary and is happy to announce that the Selection Committee has selected the films to be included in this year’s program. From 20 to 25 May, 61 films from 22 countries will be screened at the Greek Film Archive.

For another year, the Festival invites old and new friends to enjoy watching, apart from archaeological films, a wide thematic range of films, including documentaries, reportage, fiction, animation, research, and educational films, among others, always with a focus on the human being. This year’s films are recent creations (from 2019 onwards) that will take us not only to excavation sites in Greece, Egypt, Pergamon and Mesopotamia, Madagascar, Kyrgyzstan, India… but also to Trikala.

We will also learn about forbidden love stories of antiquity, the Stone Age in Sweden, the mysteries hidden at the bottom of a lake in Turkey, the secrets of Louis XIV, the life of horsemen in pre-Christian Siberia, the legends of the Castle of Mytilene, and for the first time a prehistoric woman, Lady Sapiens, will ‘narrate’ her story. All are films that bring the science of History, Archaeology, and Folklore Studies closer to the art of cinema.

Through these films we witness the quests of the scientific community, the juggling between digital and analogue documentation in scientific research, the challenges of excavation in adverse conditions, the joy of discovery, and slowly fading traditions that are captured by the cinematic lens.



Farewell, the memory of the land | Greece, 2022, 88 minutes
Director: Stavros Psillakis – Producer: Vaggelis Fabas “Massive Productions”
“… thousands of fighters around the world had given all they had for a cause that, as they believed, as they said, was greater than them; but, in the end, it turned out that they themselves were the greatness of that cause”. Chris Marker
87-year-old Giannis Lionakis, a persecuted and bounty-head guerrilla, reveals to us the place that defined his life. In a farewell journey, he tells us about an incredible 14-year (1948-1962) struggle for survival, which begins with the end of the Civil War in Crete. The backbone of the film is unpublished footage shot in 2007 as part of the documentary “There was no other way”.

Heritage | Kyrgyzstan, 2019, 25 minutes
Director: Yusuf Yurdigül – Producer: Manas University
This documentary film talks about the archaeological studies carried out in Kyrgyzstan. It particularly focuses on excavations of institutions providing archeology education in Kyrgyzstan. The works exhibited in the archaeological museum of Manas University are remarkable. The study covers the wide geography of Kyrgyzstan, such as Özgön, Osh, Naryn, Issyk-Kul, and Bishkek.

The Time they Spent here | UK, 2023, 10 minutes
Direction: Ed Owles – Production: Postcode Films
What is the magic of rock art? Two veteran archaeologists based in Tanum, Sweden explore how best to record Sweden’s Bronze Age carvings and examine the differences between digital and analogue documentation.

Mukha Xilpo, The Mask Making Tradition of Majuli | India, 2023, 17 minutes
Director – Producer: Annanya Bhuyan
The objective of the documentary is to bring forth an ancient craftmanship invented by 16th-century reformer and philosopher Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva. The craftsmanship is called ‘Mukha Xilpo’ originating from the ideology of Sankardeva’s Neo-Vaishnavism. This craft is still relevant in the 21st century, which is what the documentary wishes to highlight.
The place of shooting is Majuli, Assam where Mukha Xilpo is prevalent. The SamuguriSatra is the flagship of mask making craftmanship even today and hence, the story of Mukha Xilpo will be narrated through the lens of the Samuguri Satra. The history, origin, and its preservation in today’s era are shown via the documentary with a focus on craftsmanship. In total, three Satras narrate the story of Srimanta Sankardeva’s craftsmanship and its assets. The Mising community is also filmed so as to capture the craft’s ‘point of origin’.
The documentary also showcases several of Srimanta Sankardeva’s belongings, which are considered cultural treasures of the area. The documentary captures the economic and commercial aspect of ‘Mukha Xilpo’ in our era and what is required so that is carried forward. The idea is to provide an overall understanding of its rich heritage and significance in the 21st century.

Without Fame (Antikleia) | USA, 2023, 9 minutes
Director: Elise Kermani – Producer: MiShinnah Productions
This film takes its inspiration from Homer’s Odyssey Book XI, and the moment before and after Odysseus meets his mother Antikleia in Hades. Etymologically, Antikleia means the opposite of fame (kléos) and indeed Antikleia dies of sorrow because her son, Odysseus, is away fighting the Trojan war for so many years.
“Tzivaeri” is a traditional song from the Dodecanese and means “my treasure”, a call of adoration from a mother to her child. Odysseus asks his mother: ‘What destiny brought you to the home of death’ and Antikleia answers with Alexander Pope’s poem: “For thee, I lived – for absent, I expired!”

Stone Through Time. The Dry-Stone Walls of Kythnos | Greece, 2021, 47 minutes
Director: Yiannis Spiliopoulos – Producer: Municipality of Kythnos – Association of Friends of the Archaeological Museum of Kythnos
This documentary is about dry-stone walling on the island of Kythnos in the Aegean Sea, Greece, highlighting the importance of dry-stone walls in the life of the island’s residents from the ancient times until today. What need is there for our environment to preserve such constructions these days? What danger is there should the dry-stone walls stones collapse?

Islands on the Edge – Saria | Greece, 2022, 27 minutes
Director: Yorgos Savoglou, Dionysia Kopana – Producer: ERT3
Saria is an islet north of Karpathos, scattered with ancient ruins and remnants of old settlements. Nowadays only wild goats and rare birds of prey live there. But some people still visit. Every year, on July 27, pilgrims revive the festival of Agios Panteleimon. Minas and Giannis come to open their homes in the now abandoned settlement of Argos, where they spent their childhood on Saria.
Giannis and Kostas are carpenters; they are brothers in a large family from Olympos, Karpathos; they keep their beehives on the islet. They go back and forth by boat from Diafani, Olympos’ little port. All these people together with the summer tourists meet up on this wild and charming islet.

Hellenic Places: Hydra | Greece, 2023, 15 minutes
Director: Dimitris Koussandas – Producer: Animasyros Productions
The film narrates the journey through time of one of the most iconic Greek islands. It describes the intricate relationship of its inhabitants –revolutionaries, shipowners, cosmopolitans– with the sea. Most importantly, it tells the story of their involvement in the struggle for independence and the efforts to establish the modern Greek state. In more recent years, it became a pole of attraction for bohemian travelers, celebrities, and renowned artists from around the world.

Unclaimed | Greece, 2024, 75 minutes
Director: Marianna Economou – Producer: DOC3 productions
The accidental discovery of hundreds of small packages, stacked in old suitcases behind a wall in an Athens hospital, uncovers the tragic story of hundreds of patients who died there from tuberculosis from 1945 to 1975 and nobody ever claimed their bodies or belongings. The hospital buried them in anonymous mass graves and their existence thereafter vanished. Based on this unique archive of the personal belongings left behind and the search for living relatives, ‘Unclaimed’ tells a deeply humane story about pain, love, hope, guilt, and social stigma against the backdrop of poverty and misery during the bleak postwar period in Greek history. After 80 years of silence, a personal and collective trauma is revealed.

Closest Metro Station: Keramikos

Metro to Venue: 5 minutes walking

Wheelchair Accessibility No


See on the map the event's location