Documentary on Women's Rights Sparks Protests in Greece

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Ultra-conservatives organize rally against "Stray Bodies" documentary in Thessaloniki

Police in Thessaloniki have banned public gatherings on Tuesday amid concerns about a rally organized by ultra-conservatives to protest "Αδέσποτα Σώματα" (Stray Bodies), a documentary screening tonight in Thessaloniki.

"Αδέσποτα Σώματα" (Stray Bodies) is a documentary by Elina Psykou that explores the concepts of body autonomy and women's rights.

The film follows the stories of three women and, according to its synopsis, is a road-movie-style documentary. Its protagonists travel through an increasingly conservative Europe, demanding nothing less than autonomy and self-determination over their bodies. Their journey is both profoundly serious and hopelessly funny, their demands urgent, their rebuttal flimsy yet often resonant, and the outcome ambiguous.

The film's poster depicts a pregnant woman draped in a scarf and loincloth, nailed to a cross.

Αδέσποτα Σώματα" (Stray Bodies) poster

The poster has sparked outrage among ultra-conservative groups, the Bishop of Thessaloniki, and a group called "United Macedonians," who have organized a protest rally outside the "Olympion" cinema in downtown Aristotelous Square, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Greek hierarch protests blasphemous movie posters

According to Metropolitan Philotheos, posters for the movie Stray Bodies by Elina Psykou, “exceed the limits of malicious provocation … under the guise of a dubious artistic approach.”

distinguishing between “sinners” and “the saved,” not for “fire to fall,” but for the repentance of us all, our spiritual ascension and resurrection, the restoration of humanity to the original beauty of the Godhead.

In our Orthodox Christian tradition, freedom is not an idea, but a Person, Who is none other than the Person of Christ. Therefore, freedom as a conscious choice of life necessarily presupposes respect and responsibility, both for ourselves and for others. In this exact context, we ask you not to consent to offending the free disposition of our love for Christ, His Church, and the sacred persons of our faith, by displaying the poster for the documentary Stray Bodies.

Esteemed Madam General Director,

I am confident that you understand and comprehend my concern and distress as a Christian shepherd and spiritual father of the Orthodox Christians of Thessaloniki. I earnestly beseech you, in your prudent judgment and conscience, to do what is appropriate. Wishing the 26th Festival to be crowned with success and you personally to have God’s blessing in your life and good deeds, I remain,

With love and honor in the Lord,

† Philotheos of Thessaloniki

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