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Angelos Abazoglou

1.  Murder at the Agora / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece-France
2.  Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece-UK
3.  Olive Oil, a Little Water, a Peeled tomato... / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece-France
4.  Sir Basil Zaharoff: Agent of Death / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece
5.  Tomorrow Τhings Will Be Better / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece/Germany
6.  Welcome in Greece, Mr. Marshall / Angelos Abazoglou, Greece-France

There is no dearth of film directors who are remembered by filmgoers for their first film, in which they seem to have exhausted all their creativity and imagination. Angelos Abazoglou certainly doesn’t belong to that category of “one-film-wonders.” With his approach varying each time according to his subject matter, he experiments with and evolves his cinematic language from one documentary to the next. Thus, he may use archival footage and interviews, or he may blur the limits between fiction and reality, or he may choose a cinéma vérité style. The result is a ceaseless quest for theway inwhich to present events, his characters and their stories... It is no accident, therefore, that Abazoglou’s work invariably attracts international attention – a fact which is especially true of his most recent film, Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams, which was selected for this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
A diaspora Greek, Abazoglou focuses on awide range of topicswhich, albeit inherently Greek in their concerns, manage to transcend this trait and successfully address an international audience. The Mediterranean cooking culture and the relationships that develop through the preparation of food (Olive Oil, a Little Water, a Peeled Tomato); the co-existence of people who were forced from their homeland and had to settle elsewhere (Tomorrow Things Will Be Better); the controversial figure of Sir Basil Zaharoff (Zaharoff, Agent of Death); Modern Greek reality as seen through the crime novels of Greek author Petros Markaris (Murder at the Agora); the influence of US values on Greek society as promoted by the Marshall Plan (Welcome in Greece, Mr. Marshall); the teacher-pupil relationship and the quest for success and making one’s dreams come true (Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams), are some of the subjects Abazoglou has tackled.
The sensibility of this gaze, the respect he shows his characters, and the space he gives them to express themselves not only enhance his efforts to explore their cultural universe, but also help him touch upon matters that lie beneath the surface of the story being presented, thus endowing his documentaries with multiple interpretative levels. And that is no small achievement.


Dimitris Kerkinos


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