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Elegy in documentary form: “Chronicles of a European Winter” (video)

Temperatures sharply dropped recently after a long summer and a mild autumn. And yet, hardly a Greek dared starting heating his home. Unfordable prices of heating oil and even natural gas make a fuzzy warm home almost impossible. For a second year, for a second winter in the seventh year of austerity, Greeks are going to wrap  their elderly with blankets and their kids with thick clothes and wish that the winter will not be much too harsh.

In Greece of year 4th A.T. (Anno Troika), in Greece of winter 2013-2014 very few things remind that the country is a full member of the European Union, the euro zone and all-that-euro that brings prosperity to its citizens. Recession has its biggest impact: depression and mass migration. 40 to 50 percent internal devaluation in the people’s incomes and lives. Over-taxation and incomes decrease. No perspective for the future.

“There is a Difference Between Saying Greeks Should Live With Less and Saying Greeks Should Live With Nothing.”

Touched by the destruction of Greek middle class, French documentary maker Etienne Haug started already in 2011 to record the consequences of the European debt crisis in general, and of Greece in particular.

“Winter 2013-2014 : the Greeks are getting ready for the 7th year of the longest recession period ever recorded since the beginning of the capitalist era.”

Below is the first segment of the project recording the human toll of austerity policies in Europe. It focuses on the suffering Greece, as told by Greeks themselves.

The pace might strike some as languid, but if you stick with it, it makes sense. The filmmakers are acting as witnesses, giving their subjects, who are mainly men still trying to retain a sense of dignity, the space to describe how the devastation has affected them. The result is an elegy in the form of a documentary.

video:

Chronicles of a European Winter, episode 1

         Athens: from recession to depression

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Season 1: Athens (Greece)
International release : ENG/FR/GER/IT/GR/SP/CAT
“The pace might strike some as languid, but if you stick with it, it makes sense. The filmmakers are acting as witnesses, giving their subjects, who are mainly men still trying to retain a sense of dignity, the space to describe how the devastation has affected them. The result is an elegy in the form of a documentary. (nakedcapitalism)

More about the project

“Chronicles of a European Winter” is a documentary series telling stories of the everyday life of Europeans
at the time of the debt crisis. The project started in November 2011, initiated by Etienne Haug, a French
documentary maker currently living in Berlin: funds collected through a crowd-funding campaign led to the
realization of the first season, available for free in Creative Commons. Already 20000 “real” views, the
support of relevant information websites and a network formed around the project brought notoriety to
the work.
On the 12th of November 2013, Chronicles of a European Winter finally reaches its original international
aim with a release in 7 languages. A voluntary team of translators and communication experts
spontaneously came together to help the project reaching the broadest possible audience across European
borders. The original aim of the project, creating a cross-culture understanding of the reality of the
European crisis, is finally achieved.
The first season of “Chronicles of a European Winter”counts 3 episodes lasting about 45 minutes each.
The first one,”Athens, from Recession to Depression“, tells stories of the everyday life of Athenians in the month of December 2011. It was edited with pictures by the Greek photographers Stefania Mizara and Achilleas Zavallis, thanks to the collaboration of the French curator Camille Pillias and editor
Nelly Ollivault.
The second episode, Athens, the Downward Spiral of Austerity, and the third episode, Athens, Looking for an Escape, go furtherin scrupulously accounting for all the little changes in the life of the Greek middle class. All along these chronicles, one progressively realizes what it means, materially as well as psychologically, to live in a country where the social balance everyone had took for granted for decades was shattered in a few years.
Find “Chronicles of a European Winter” on: http://eurowinter.wordpress.com
A new project is on the way Europe 2014. The sequel to this project is already in production, with the crowd-funding call to fund it running until the 1st of December here.

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3 comments

  1. Hi,

    Great documentaries! Thank you.

    Is there a Greek Version with English subtitles? I’m learning the language and it would be really helpful.

    Thanks,

    Peter

  2. great, right?
    I suppose there is English with Greek subtitles. why don’t you check with their website (scroll down towards post end)?