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Retrospective on Cypriot film director Michael Cacoyannis held in Beijing

By Wang Yanfang  (

08:56, October 15, 2012

Over 30 embassies are attending the retrospective's opening ceremony. (Photo by Wang Yanfang/

A retrospective on Cypriot film director Michael Cacoyannis (1921-2011)' works running from Oct. 11 to 17 opened at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, and is one of a series of activities be held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Greece and China and the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Over 30 embassies were invited to attend the retrospective's opening ceremony. Mr. Theodore Georgakelos, Ambassador of Greece to China and Ioanna Malliotis, the Cyprus Ambassador to China, delivered welcoming addresses.

The retrospective show of films opened with the 'Trojan Women', a 1971 film directed by Michael Cacoyannis.

Focusing on the suffering created by the Trojan Wars, the film was based on Edith Hamilton's translation of Euripides' original play.

In a 1971 magazine interview, Cacoyannis explained how the play addresses the folly of war, the folly of people killing others and forgetting that they are going to die themselves.

The Trojan Queen was struck by grief as she looked upon the remains of her kingdom, which easily drives the audience into a mood of despair and agony.

The last male heir to Troy must be executed to ensure the extinction of the royal line. Women of Troy were faced with misery and an uncertain future.

The 'Stella,' 'Girl in Black,' 'Electra,' 'Zorba the Greek,' 'Iphigenia' and 'The Cherry Orchard,' by Cacoyannis will all be shown during the retrospective.

Michael Cacoyannis is a prominent Greek Cypriot filmmaker from Cyprus. His best -known film was 'Zorba the Greek' in 1964. He also distinguished himself as a stage and opera director with critically acclaimed productions in Greece, the USA, and France. He has won many prizes for his contribution to art , such as the Order of the Golden Phoenix of Greece, the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres of France and the Grand Cross/Order of Makarios 3rd of Cyprus.

The Central Academy of Drama is one of the best drama and stage arts institutions in China that has cultivated generation after generation of high-quality drama, film and TV art talents - including Gong Li, Jiang Wen and Zhang Ziyi.

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