An Evening with Tassos Boulmetis

An Evening with Tassos Boulmetis

Q&A with filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis; John K. Papadopoulos, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Archaeology & Classics and Director of Athenian Agora Excavations.

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Across four feature films, celebrated Greek writer-director and UCLA alumnus Tassos Boulmetis (The Dream FactoryA Touch of SpiceMythopathy and 1968) has explored the relationship between our inner worlds and the larger myths that shape us within a specifically Greek historical, cultural and political context. His semi-autobiographical second feature, A Touch of Spice, about an astronomy professor reflecting on his family’s fraught journey from Turkey to Greece and the culinary philosophy of his grandfather that saw him through, resonated so strongly with local audiences that it became the highest-grossing film in Greek history at the time of its release. In his most recent film, 1968, a historic sporting event becomes the leaping-off point for a multifaceted reflection on Greek national identity. The UCLA Film & Television Archive and its presenting partners are honoured to host Boulmetis in person at the Billy Wilder Theater for a screening and conversation while he’s a visiting professor this fall.  

Special thanks to Tassos Boulmetis Gefyra, a collaborative program between the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and the UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture.

Special thanks to our community partner, UCLA Alumni Association.


Greece, 2018

When the Greek basketball team AEK (Athletic Union of Constantinople) and Slavia of Prague (the all-time Czechoslovakian European champion) squared off in Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium in 1968 for the European Cup, Greece had been under a military dictatorship for a year, the latest shock in a tumultuous period of national trauma. (AEK is a major Greek sports club founded in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople who arrived in Greece in 1924). From the 80,000 fans in the stadium to those around the country glued to the radio, every Greek had something riding on the game. In this riveting docudrama, writer-director Tassos Boulmetis seamlessly blends reenactments with archival footage and contemporary interviews to transcend traditional sports film cliches and illuminate the fascinating network of personal and political histories that intersected on the court that fateful night.

DCP, color/b&w, in Greek with English subtitles, 93 min. Director: Tassos Boulmetis. Screenwriters: Tassos Boulmetis. With: Antonis Kafetzopoulos, Stelios Mainas, Errikos Litsis. 

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