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a 2012, 87 mins
a film by Bill Mousoulis  


Wild and Precious - Bill Mousoulis makes a film in Greece ... for Greece
by Lida Galanou, FLIX.GR, May 30, 2011.

ENGLISH ORIGINAL (of the interview):

What was your motive or wish, in making a film about the financial crisis in Greece?

I never set out at the beginning to make a film about the crisis in Greece. At the beginning, I wanted to make a film with the actor Alessandro Figurelli as the central character, as I found him fascinating. I was interested in his energy, and how he is an Italian now living in Greece (the past 4 years). Secondly, I had the Australian actress Jennifer Levy coming to Greece to play in the film, and I needed to create a role for her, so it seemed natural that she would play an Australian TV producer, who hires Alessandro to videotape the demonstrations happening in Athens. A big part of the film is the characters' inner lives, and we also see Alessandro connecting with his ex-wife in Italy, and we shot many scenes there, in Milano. So, in the end, the film has a number of different themes running through it.

Why did you decide to do fiction about something so current and real?

I always make fiction films, never documentaries, but my style is always realistic, and I like to blur the line between fiction and reality. So, even with the actors themselves, they play fictional characters, but characters that are quite similar to their real selves. And then with the social setting, I like to always utilise the real social setting of wherever I am filming ... I don't like to create fictional environments. And the truth is, Athens is a city that buzzes, it is a very vibrant place, even if some of the buzzing at the moment is ugly or violent.

Did you ever have the intention of working in Greece?

No - I was always happy staying and working in Australia. But in the past few years, a few things have happened for me -- my last feature film A Nocturne played in film festivals in Europe in 2008, and coming to Europe then (including to Nichtes Premieres, the Athens International Film Festival) excited me, as I'd never travelled overseas before. And also, Australian cinema (feature films especially) has been getting very stale and safe in the past few years, and I have always loved European cinema, so, I decided a couple of years ago, in 2009, to stay on in Europe for some time, I don't know for how long. For me, this is a big adventure, living and now making a film in Greece.

What would you wish the reaction of the audiences in Greece to be?

This film is so unusual in the context of Greek cinema, that I just hope Greek audiences react with curiosity, even confusion, that is fine ... this is after all a strange situation ... I'm a foreigner here, even though my parents are both Greek, and I have come here to Greece and have made a film about an Italian man and his ex-wife back in Italy, and an Australian TV producer. So, in the film, the Greek language is spoken only in a few scenes ... the film is mainly in Italian and English ... and yet, most of the film is set in Greece, in Athens. Audiences always react in a mixed way to my work, but film critics and cinephiles tend to like what I do.

Do you believe art is a political force?

Yes, art is a political force. I think artistic representations of social or political landscapes and feelings can really resonate for whoever is looking at the artwork. Especially visual art, like photographs, paintings, films. Images can be symbols, can really inflame the consciousness and spirit of people. That is why people look at TV, why certain video footage gets played over and over again ... it does something to us, watching the footage. With my film now, what I'm doing is using some of the same images (of demonstrations, riots), but from a slightly different perspective, with somehow fresh eyes ... this may be helpful to people looking at the film.