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Σε εκείνους που σκέπτονται πως η Ελλάδα σήμερα δεν έχει καμία σημασία ας μου επιτραπεί να πω ότι δεν θα μπορούσαν να κάνουν μεγαλύτερο λάθος. Η σημερινή, όπως και η παλιά Ελλάδα, έχει υψίστη σημασία για οποιονδήποτε ψάχνει να βρει τον εαυτό του.

Χένρυ Μίλλερ, 1891-1980, Αμερικανός συγγραφέας

Η Ελληνική εφημερίδα και το Ελληνικό Ραδιόφωνο της Florida, με έδρα το Miami
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BIZOS

“GEORGE BIZOS: ICON” – A CHAMPION OF JUSTICE

28 Oct, 2023

The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis, OAM, writes about the special screening of the documentary “George Bizos: Icon, that Melburnians had the chance to enjoy on Wednesday, 25th October, at Palace Cinema Como.

The documentary is a cinematic triumph that pays tribute to a legal legend, a champion of justice, and a humanitarian par excellence, George Bizos. It not only educates, but also touches the heart and soul.

The telling moment for me in the George Bizos documentary was when his granddaughter remarked soon after his death “But I thought he would live forever”.  For those who saw the documentary at the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Film Festival, we are left with the firm belief that Bizos does in fact live forever, as his deeds and words have left a lasting impression in our hearts and minds.

The title of the documentary “George Bizos: Icon” does justice to this man, particularly with the use of the word Icon.  From a young age he demonstrated immense courage.  We learnt how as a 13yo during the Second World War he would put his life at risk by secretly feeding New Zealand soldiers who were hiding in the Peloponnese.  That courage would take him as a 13yo to assist these soldiers with a boat so as to help them to a safe destination. 

George Bizos in fact joined them on the boat to flee the Nazis. His life was characterized by this courage and pursuit of justice. Other key examples of this unwavering courage and sense of fairness, included allowing as the Apartheid regime characterized certain people, a colored person to join him in his chambers as a barrister.  This was done at a time when this was largely forbidden.

The documentary succeeds in revealing the human side of George Bizos. It allows us to see a multifaceted individual whose passion for justice was deeply intertwined with his compassion for the human condition. His sense of empathy and conviction for what is right are evident in every frame, leaving a profound impact on the viewer.

Perhaps the most touching aspect of the documentary was hearing Nelson Mandela talking in a sweet voice about his good friend George Bizos.  The affection and deep love of Nelson Mandela to George Bizos was clear.  And these feelings were no doubt based on the decades of work undertaken by George Bizos whether it was setting up a high school for all students no matter their color, helping to draft the South African Constitution, setting up a legal aid service, the key role of his in the Truth and Reconciliation Hearing.

George Bizos’ love for his homeland of Greece and the simple pleasures of hosting friends at his home and tendering to his garden brought continuously to light the profound impact of his Hellenic upbringing.

The Q&A session with the producer, George Georgiou, co-hosted by Andrew Panna KC, was the perfect complement to the screening and allowed the audience to gain a more profound understanding of the immense effort and commitment it took to encapsulate the life of such an iconic figure within the span of a documentary.

Following the enlightening Q&A session, Leonidas Vlahakis, Festival Chair and Chair of the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Cultural Programs Committee, took the stage and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the insightful discussion. In a touching gesture, he presented both the producer and cohost, Andrew Panna Kc with tokens of appreciation.

The Greek Film Festival is presented in Victoria by the Greek Community of Melbourne playing on the Palace Cinemas group’s screens.

 

2023 GREEK FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY BENDIGO BANK
 
ProcalOasisJoannides FuneralsProniaScootSky ExpressGreek QuarterAnt1 Pacific
Festival Partners
Hellenic Wines and SpiritsBahari I GringlishEpsaSue SensiVanilla LoungeThematikosKwikkopyCarrotenThemida Legal Clever Little Koalas
Media Sponsors
NEOS KOSMOSTHE GREEK HERALDTA NEA I 3XYSBS GREEKRYTHMOS3ZZZPAROIKIAKI TILEORASIGreek City Times, GREEK NEWS 24
 
ABOUT THE GREEK FILM FESTIVAL
The Greek Film Festival, presented by the Greek Community of Melbourne, is an annual celebration of Greek cinema showcasing the complexity and diversity that is the Greek Film industry which in turn captures the essence of Greek culture, history, and creativity. The Greek Film Festival has become a significant annual event in the cultural calendar of cinephiles and the Greek community of Melbourne alike.   In 2023, The Greek Film Festival will be shown at Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn Cinema and the Astor Theatre and runs from 19 to 29 October.
 
ABOUT THE GREEK COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE
Established in 1897, the Greek Community of Melbourne is a prominent organisation dedicated to promoting and preserving Greek history, culture, and heritage in Australia. Through various initiatives, events, and educational programs, the Community aims to strengthen the connection between Greek Australians and their rich cultural background.
 
Media enquiries contact on Heidi Serafimidou on +61 3 9662 2722
or via email Heidi.serafimidou@greekcommunity.com.au
 
For more festival details and the full program check
Melbourne Films | Greek Film Festival 2023
 

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