The Agorá (Αγορά) was a central area in Ancient Greece city-states. It was a gathering place, an assembly of active citizens, and the City centre for political, economical, athletic, artistic and spiritual life. It was the heart of Democracy. In Modern Greece, the word Agorá has lost its initial sense and it has come to denote solely the place and act of commercial transactions. It is a dominant word in the reality experienced today by Greeks, as the country goes through an economical vortex that devours human lives in its path.
Greece, a symbol for the European civilization because of its Ancient heritage, is experiencing conditions in post-war history that no European thought would face again. Homeless people, soup kitchens, unemployment, poverty, an unsettled social situation, violent conflicts and the rise of the extreme-right. The dream of prosperity has turned into a nightmare and the political scene of the last four decades is crumbling.
Yorgos Avgeropoulos, an internationally acclaimed Greek documentary filmmaker, witnesses the fall. After 13 years of ongoing reporting and documenting global issues around the world, he urgently turns his camera towards his homeland. He records the development of the crisis from its early stage, while tracing its impact on the lives of simple people from all social classes whom he observes over time. He witnesses popular protests in the streets, the development of solidarity movements as well as the rise of fascism, while at the same time he seeks answers from his country’s most significant political personalities, from insiders, analysts and key decision makers from the international political scene.
“Children of a rape” tells the story of El Salvador’s two biggest gangs, mainly made up of teenagers. The 18 and the MS13 have turned the country into a war zone, as they relentlessly clash over the control of the weapons and drugs markets. In their words, actions and bodies tattooed with their gang’s symbols is written the contemporary history of a country which was raped by the 12-year-long civil war, a war which might not yet be over…
Trapped between Berlusconi and the Mafia, immigrants in Italy are under persecution. Africans, gypsies, Romanians and Slavs are being targeted. “Outraged citizens” are shooting at Africans, gypsy settlements are being burnt down by the angry mob, Camorra hitmen are shooting black people with no distinction and the city streets are being patrolled by “vigilante” groups in accord with the new anti-immigration law.
“There has been another moment in Italian history when they country’s security was commended to people who walked the streets wearing shirts of the same color”, says an emasculated left, making clear allusions to Mussolini’s Blackshirts. At the same time, Berlusconi’s Minister of Defense praises the bravery of the soldiers of the fascist regime, and Gianni Alemanno, once a member of a neo-fascist party, is elected mayor of the Eternal City.
Where is Italy heading?
According to myth, God entrusted San Vicente with a difficult task. On his back he carried a sack full of Muxes, and had to leave one in every town of the Zapotec kingdom. But when the Saint reached Juchitán he tripped, and all the Muxes he carried in his sack fell out. Since then, this town in the South-East of Mexico has experienced an unexpected – not only for Mexico but for the entire world – sexual liberation.
Homosexual men who wish to dress as women freely do so, and live a more or less similar life as their heterosexual fellow citizens. Not only do the Muxes not hide their difference on the streets of Juchitán, they actually project it in every way. Their fellow citizens simply go on their way, not impressed, provoked or angered by the sight of a man in women’s clothes, hairdos and make-up. The Muxes claim they belong to the community of the “intrepid”, of “those who do not fear death”, and celebrate their desire and joy to be women every year in a festivity attended by the whole community.
In Juchitán, the dream of tolerance and the acceptance of difference has been a reality for years. Without announcements and declarations, without social movements having to fight long and bloody social and political struggles, without conflict and quarrel…
A documentary on the joy of life and love which prevailed effortlessly because San Vicente tripped…
In times of economic recession and crisis, minorities are targeted. The Roma people, the most numerous and vulnerable ethnic minority in Europe, with a population of over 10 million across the continent, have always been an easy victim. Their persecution by the French state in the summer of 2010 brought back memories of past times we thought were never to be repeated. “No Place to Stand” records their fleeing from the country of human rights and the Enlightenment, it follows their tracks back to Romania, the efforts to start their life there over again, and the dead ends that repeatedly set them back on the track of emigration. “No Place to Stand” is the chronicle of a people under persecution.
The rise of neo-Nazis in Russia is more than a fact! The biggest part of the world's neo-Nazis are today concentrated in Russia. Extremist ideas about racial purity and the extermination of immigrants, homosexuals, drug addicts and all the “useless pests that pollute the Russian White Race” find an ever more fertile ground in a population whose national pride was wounded during the years that followed the fall of the Soviet Union. “The Pack of White Wolves” is a hair-raising documentary which records the deadly activities of Russian skinheads, the stories of their innocent victims and the terrible threat emerging at the North of Europe.
The I.M.F. has been present in Guatemala since 1984. During the past seven years, the country has displayed an impressive economic growth that many developed countries would envy. Average growth is almost as high as 4%! However, at the same time, 1 out of 2 children under the age of 5 suffers from hunger and malnutrition. This is the fifth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, higher even than that in Haiti, which is by far the poorest country in the Americas. A documentary of shocking contradictions, where wonderful economic figures have nothing to do with real life.
A crazy manhunt has broken out in peaceful Tanzania. Bounty hunters murder and mutilate Albinos so that they can take their limbs. According to the paranoid superstition streak that has been initiated by 161.000 Tanzanian witch doctors, the limbs of the bodies of those who were born without melanin in their skin bring good fortune and wealth. A horror trade of human limbs has been set up and is spreading like fire in the neighboring countries. The Albinos are being slaughtered like animals. They are the Zeru Zeru, the Nobodies, the Ghosts.