Greece | 87 minutes | 2022
City and the City
Southeast US Premiere
Using a radical, endlessly surprising narrative structure, The City and the City presents the untold story of how the once-thriving Sephardic Jewish community in Thessaloniki was gradually decimated over the course of the 20th century. This uniquely stylistic film is a heartfelt, elegiac love letter to the Greek city of Thessaloniki, which before the Second World War, was a dazzlingly polyglot, cosmopolitan home to such a large population of Sephardic Jews that it was known as “the Mother of Israel.” With devastating emotional clarity and relentless force, the film unfolds in parallel contemporary and historical tracks, tracing moments of anti-semitic persecution, the Nazi occupation of Greece, and lingering postwar trauma. Using six intertwined and visually evocative chapters, The City and the City brilliantly combines documentary, fiction, and essay. Deeply moving, this ambitious film is a true illustration of the power of movies — you walk out of the theater and never look at the world in quite the same way ever again.
Encounter Award at the Berlin International Film Festival
Directed by Christos Passalis, Syllas Tzoumerkas