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Passing Drama by Angela Melitopoulos, excerpt, 4,36 min

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Published on Apr 15, 2008

Passing Drama
a videoessay directed by Angela Melitopoulos
66 min, PAL, Digibeta, 1999,
(German and Greek language, subtitled in English)
contact: nc-melitoan@netcologne.de
"Everything forgotten mixes with the forgotten of the world before." (Franz Rosenzweig)

„PassingDrama" is based on different recollections told by refugees. This videoessay is the woven sound picture of the migration of Angela Melitopoulos'family. Drama is the name of a small city in Northern Greece. The city is inhabited by refugees who are survivors of deportations from Asia Minor to Greece in 1923. In World War II their children escaped
the Bulgarian occupation and became workeslave in Hitler's Germany.
Interviews with those refugees connected to Melitopoulos father's recite of his departure
from Greece to Vienna are tracing a diagonal path through Europe crossing four different national states. The homeland of these refugees was changing continuously. Their storytelling relates to the local condition of integration. To choose recites from people who have experienced an exodus nearly forgotten in European history meant to consider ways of making the process of forgetting a part in the process of notation (montage).
Telling a story, which has been transmitted, retold, re-memorised from one generation to the next meant to make a film on the subject of refugee narration itself. Fragments of recorded interviews formed the voice level in that the story appears as a texture made out of different densities of concret or superfluous „thought-flows". In their narration the refugees connected their own words with generated word-constructions of others. The recalled words of others intensified through the melody of their voices. Voice melody as an indication for collective/generated memory became the parameter to choose text from the interviews. Aflux of voices layered one over the other, erasing or reinforcing each other, reaching
the audible space or becoming mute, created the rhythm in the editing and the structure of the narration. The voices are like invisible threads in the woven structure of this video. They appear and dissappear like a thread on the front side of a carpet. Only by looking at the back-side of the carpet one can follow them. The images of the different locations of the migrated path are displayed in different image-speed in the video. Thus location appears as a distinct time-zone in the narration. The further the location relates to the past the more the images are processed and edited. Real-time represents the here and now time-zoneof the narration. Half speed represents the second generation of the narration and stands for the documentary time-zone(the fathers recite). Images processed with dynamic motion control are representing the generated imaginary of placesor paths known through stories told by others (the third generation: the grand-parents) but not seen as a eye witness „Passing Drama" is edited as a hypertextual structure of images and sounds, a structure of memory and recollection visualised through the possibilities of non-linear editing.
„Passing Drama" narrates from the point of view of a minority, who's past seems to be devoured by industrial machines in favour of a majority.

Award of the German Filmcritics for experimental video 2000
Award of the Council of Europe, VideoArt Festival Locarno
Award of Internationale Mediafestival Medi@terra Athens

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