A documentary about Eleusina. The past and the present, in complete antithesis, coexist in a place spoiled by modern industry but which long ago hosted the Eleusinian Mysteries, the secret ceremonies that initiated the ancient Greeks into the miracles of life, death, and the afterlife. […] Since ancient times Eleusis has been linked to the myth of Demeter, goddess of earth, agriculture and fertility, and of her daughter Persephone, whose descent to and reappearance from the underworld symbolises the miracle of nature and the eternal cycle of life. The Eleusinian Mysteries, to which only a privileged few had access, were annual ceremonies centred around the secrets of life, death and the major mystery of regeneration. Since the nineteenth century, however, Eleusis has gradually become a grey industrial town; following the expulsion of Greeks from Asia Minor in 1922, it received scores of destitute refugees. Industrialisation and economic imperatives overshadowed the ancient heritage and turned Eleusis into a model of cultural decline and environmental disaster.
Film screening and discussion.
Tickets £6 or £4 on sale: www2.bbk.ac.uk/bimi
Part of the Essay Film Festival
Presented in collaboration with BIRMAC (Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture), as part of their “Ruins” research project.
dir. Filippos Koutsaftis, 2000, 87 minutes
With Gabriel Koureas (Birkbeck, History of Art), Eleni Liarou (Birkbeck, Film, Media and Cultural Studies) and Maria Aristodemou (Birkbeck, School of Law) in conversation.
43 Gordon Square,