One of the most outstanding directors of auteur cinema, Costas Zapas gained international acclaim with Uncut Family (2004) and The Last Porn Movie (2006). With Minor Freedoms his trilogy on the family is complete. Cineuropa: Minor Freedoms is the title of your latest film. However, in the film there is too little freedom. Your characters seem to have no choice.
Costas Zapas: This is a great political discussion because in reality “minor freedoms” are all what we have left. I do not know if this affects only my characters or every citizen in the world because we as people have chosen to become a mass rather than citizens. A mass has obligations but no rights.
In contrast, citizens have obligations they have to follow and rights they have to claim. Sometimes characters consist of special elements but if we compare them to the people next door or to our own image in the mirror we come to the conclusion that our own freedoms are minor in this new globalised status quo.
Your characters could be placed anywhere in the globalised world. They are everyday people with a specific political and social background who are facing their limits.
Auteur cinema has to produce something beyond borders. In order for this to happen a filmmaker has not only to refer to everyday life but also transform these images from everyday life into something epic. He should use symbols that can be useful universally.
What happens to Fanny, my main character, is something that happened to Iphigenia in the Greek tragedy but is also happening today. We are all aware of human trafficking and how much despair it hides. We are all aware that incest takes place in the world’s rural areas as well as in the cities.
Incest is considered a taboo for family-centered societies in general and for Greek society in particular. You have also presented other, diverse forms of family dysfunctions in your previous films. What connection is there?
As a filmmaker, I was always interested in the so-called state and its contents: country, religion and family, which are actually the cornerstones of modern societies.
I began with the third, the family, because this is the first social stage in which we form and develop our political and religious views. This film completes my trilogy on family, made up of Uncut Family, the Last Porn Movie and Minor Freedoms. An experienced viewer can trace psychoanalysis sessions in my films. Family plays a significant role in the development of one’s personality and consequently in the development of an entire society, as we are still mammals who live in herds.