Greece has a huge tradition of music and music-oriented culture. This film needs a recognized musician of Greek origin to implement the traditional music with a modern day soundtrack. The story is often supported by the music, and often relates to the theme of any particular scene, particularly music such as; Rembetika, Greek folk, Kleftiko, and Smyrnaiko influences. This style of music resembles the popular tradition of other cultures, such as Flamenco, Celtic, Moroccan, etc., and it is important to allow the soundtrack to reflect the style of music in a popular way. The music will carry the audience through the story, and illustrate harmonically the cultural aspects of the film.
Short Story Synopsis
There is a part of recent Greek history that remains untold until now. AETOS follows the journey of a young boy through to his manhood. He is one of the unsung heroes of Greece that fought for his liberty and personal freedom against the phalanx of oppression and dictatorship. Through his story, we become acquainted with Greek culture and a way of life that existed in a time of political turbulence. We delve into the secret world of the "mangas"; an underground sub cultural society that existed within a fascist world. We follow AETOS and his experience with Hashish smoking and drugs in the Hash Dens "TEKEDES" of Piraeus. The emergence and evolution of REMBETIKO music in a time of turmoil, precedes this story, yet amplifies the tragedy that lies within. Romance and adventure combined with humor fill the scenes. This is indeed a Modern Greek tragedy, documented as one mans attempt at a life in a world of hypocrisy. There is no happy ending, because for many there were none. This film will tell a true story. A story until this day remains untold.
MyGreekSpirit will follow the progress of this exciting project and we will keep you posted.
If the role of the wife of a manga followed the traditional pattern, his girl friends were generally more liberated. Many would have been prostitutes or factory workers - or gypsies whose love of hashish and devil-may-care attitude made them very popular.
Crazy gypsy, where are you going,
All in the night , where to ?
Your leaving is sorrow
In my heart forever.
Where are you going alone and so fast,
Like a passing stranger?
Take me with you to a faraway place,
I'll come with you forever.
Crazy gypsy, where are you going?
All alone, you abandon me.
Let's go, gypsy, before the dawn,
I'll come with you whatever happens. Recorded by Tsitsanis-1948.
What was Rebetika Music??
Rembetika was established in parts of mainland Greece in the first two years of the 20th century. It made use of 2-3 derivatives of the Turkish saz (a.k.a. tampoura and boulgari): The bouzouki and its smaller brothers, the tzouras and the baglamas. The saz itself is a lute but quite different from the archetypal Arab lute, 'al oud' - meaning 'wood'. The latter was very popular in Asia Minor. Rembetika were urban blues of a quasi-criminal subculture, despised by the middle classes and suppressed by the authorities.
In 1921 the Greek army occupied Turkey at the instigation of England, France, Italy and Russia. The Ottoman empire was in a state of collapse and the Great Powers, eager to carve up the territory, let Greece know that if they were to take the coast of Asia Minor where there were two million Greeks living there from ancient times, they could expect support. (They were using Greece to do their dirty work for them since the Italians had invaded from the south and were marching North. They wanted to use the Greeks to stop them from taking the entire coast of Asia Minor.) All went well and the Greek army controlled Smyrna and the coast but then two things happened that sent events rapidly downhill. The Greek army decided to march inland and take Ankara while at the same time the French backed out of the deal. This caused the other powers to withdraw their support so as not to start another world war. The Greek army found itself in retreat from a Turkish army led by Kemal Attaturk. As they passed through towns and cities they were joined by the local Greek population who did not want to be left behind when the angry Turks swarmed into town. Thousands died and the city of Smyrna was burned.
As the army retreated back to Greece it brought with them the surviving Greek population of Asia Minor. By 1922 there were two million refugees in the country. These were Greeks who had never lived in Greece. They had come from the fertile lands of Anatolia but were now forced to live in a small mountainous country that could not support them, or in refugee settlements in Pireaus and Thessaloniki. It was in the cafes and hash dens near these settlements that what we know as Rembetika was forged from the early mainland movement with its bouzouki and the oriental tunes, rhythms and singing techniques that came from Asia Minor.
Imagine yourself as a refugee. In Asia Minor you may have had a business, a nice home, money, friends, family. But in the slums of Athens all you had was whatever you could carry with you out of Turkey, and your shattered dreams. You went from being in the middle class to being underground in a foreign country that did not particularly want you. Rembetika was the music of these outcasts. The lyrics reflected their surroundings, poverty, pain, drug addiction, police oppression, prison, unrequited love, betrayal and hashish. It was the Greek urban blues.