Nikos Papatakis

Nikos Papatakis – I Fotografia AKA La Photo (1986)

Ilias Apostolou, a young furrier who has had a hard time under the dictatorship, leaves Castoria in 1971 to emigrate to France, where he hopes to join a distant relative of his, Gerassimos Tzivas, who has been living there since 1950. With him, he takes nothing from his homeland but a photograph of a person that he finds on the pavement. He asks Gerassimos to help him in finding work in Paris. A misunderstanding around the photograph, however, sets off a series of dramatic events. Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Les équilibristes AKA Walking a Tightrope (1992)

Marcel Spandice, a famous homosexual writer during the sixties in Paris, is trying to make a young Arab into the greatest tightrope walker in the world. Behind the figure of Spandice, author, poet and lover of the circus (“because there one truly risks getting killed,” in his own words)

The story of this film was allegedly based on a true story witnessed by the director Nico Papatakis during his filmmaking collaboration with the controversial and much-lionized monstre sacrée Jean Genet. Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Oi Voskoi AKA The Shepherds of Calamity (1967) (HD)


Katina, an impoverished Greek woman, tries to arrange the marriage of her shepherd son, Thanos, to Despina, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. But when Despina’s father, Vlahopoulos refuses to give his blessings and wants Despina to marry a more wealthy gentleman, named Yankos. The wealthy and spoiled Yankos plots to break up the romantic union between Thanos and Despina any way possible while the young lovers plot to run away in a futile attempt to being a new life for themselves. Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – I Fotografia AKA La Photo (1986) (HD)


During the dictatorship, a young man goes to Paris, where he seeks help from a solitary and almost misanthropic distant relative who works as a furrier. The young man carries with him the photograph of a singer whom he presents as his sister, thus causing a series of misunderstandings which trap him in a vicious circle of lies and fantasies. An allegory in the form of a modern-day tragedy of the “misunderstandings” and deceits of modern Greek History, as seen through the eyes of a Greek of the Diaspora. Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Oi voskoi AKA The Shepherds of Calamity (1967)


The calamity that struck a young shepherd and the daughter of a landowner who were denied the possibility of getting married due to class distinctions. A vitriolic criticism of reactionary mores in Greece of Colonels’ dictatorship, combining cruelty, amour fou and lyricism.
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Nikos Papatakis – Gloria mundi aka Tortura (1976)


The young actress Galai is hired by his friend and director Hamdias to interpret a film
denouncing the torture of suspected terrorists during the war of Algeria. The woman,
using audio recordings made during the torture, practices the worst violence on
herself to make her own interpretation as realistic as possible, to confuse reality with
fiction. Galai, as the character she plays, is a part, along with her lover, a subversive
movement. In an attempt to rejoin Hamdias is forced to flee an exhausting marked by
humiliation and betrayal that ends in an unpredictable finish. Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Les abysses aka The depths (1963)

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Inspired by “Les Bonnes”, Jean Genet’s play (itself based on the true story of the Papin sisters), adapted by Jean Vauthier (a writer and avant-garde playwright, which is probably why the dialogue is so theatrical. He died in 92 but he was born in 1910 so his centennial was this year, but he is totally forgotten) and by an uncredited Louis Jouvet (according to imdb)
André Malraux, then Minister of Culture (yes, there was, still is, such a Minister in France) wanted the movie to the Cannes Festival. The followers of the Surrealism movement took the Papin sisters case as paradigm of class revolt, and a signal that a social revolution was already taking place. Romantics saw in these grisly murders the emergence of absolute Evil, like Lautréamont in `Les Chants de Maldoror’. Philosophers engaged in the socialist movement wrote passionate texts in defence of those maids, like Jean-Paul Sartre in `Le Mur’, and Simone de Beauvoir in `La Force de l’âge’. Jacques Lacan, in `Écrits’, will develop his first scientific essay on psychoanalysis, following the Papin criminal case. (imdb’s only user comment) Read More »