More information about the Movie:
1h 50min | Biography, Drama, History | 10 May 1985 (USA)
The story of a group of Rembetes, singers and musicians of the Greek equivalent to the blues, in the early decades of the 20th century, seen through the eyes of a young female singer. The story is based on the life of the Rebetiko singer Marika Ninou and her relation with the famous composer Vassilis Tsitsanis. It presents the Rebetiko song as it entangles with the political instability of the entire Greek nation starting from the Asia Minor Disaster in 1922, the World War II and Nazi occupation in 1940, the tragic Civil War in 1948, to the even more economic instability of the 1950’s.
Mucic by the famous composer Stavros Xarhakos
Director: Costas Ferris
Plot Keywords: #singer #musician #Asia Minor catastrophe #Greek music #song
For anyone with an interest in Greek history, culture and music.
Rembetiko is, for lack of a better way to describe it, the Greek blues. Rembetiko, the film, brings this passionate, soulful and melancholy music beautifully to life in a 110-minute musical about a Greek singer’s career journey from the backstreet taverns of Pireas to the steamy nightclubs of Chicago. Acclaimed Greek actress Sotiria Leonardou, who also co-penned the film with director Costas Ferris, stars in the film as Marika, a Rembetiko singer whose family immigrated to Greece from Smyrna after the Turks pillaged the city in 1922. The family’s life in Pireas adds a wonderful cultural flavor that serves as the heart and soul of of this music and this film.This fictionalized musical biopic centers around the story of Greece in the early 20th century, incorporating newsreels into its live action account of the story of Marika Ninou, whose story was indeed rather tragic though it should be noted that what is presented here has been heightened dramatically for the sake of cinema. The film follows her abusive upbringing with parents who were rembetiko singers, her relationship with Bobbi (Nikos Kalogeropoulos) and the birth of their son out of wedlock and, eventually, her tragic murder by a partier during a time of heightened popularity of her band. As is true for most musicals, Rembetiko works best when the music is going and the melancholy tunes are being belted out full-force. Leonardou has an extraordinary voice and presence, and while she’s occasionally weighted down by a tad too much melodrama in the film’s story and the slightly revisionist history lessons, her musical performances are mesmerizing as are virtually everyone else’s throughout the film’s seemingly timeless 110-minute run time. If you are able to surrender yourself to the sounds of Rembetiko, then this is most assuredly an unforgettable and entertaining cinematic experience given wondrous new life. Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and several awards at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, Rembetiko is an enchanting and soul-stirring film.