UK film premiere
In 1970 the people of the Greek Cypriot village of Karmi, which is now under Turkish occupation, participated in an unprecedented experience: the shooting of the film Beloved, alongside a Hollywood cast and crew. Starring movie icon Raquel Welch, Beloved was the first Hollywood movie to be filmed in Cyprus.
Four decades on, the Cypriot documentary Beloved Days nostalgically revisits the film Beloved, focussing on those involved in its making and the traumatic changes to their lives that they have endured.
Directed by Constantinos Patsalides, written and produced by George Avraam.
Beloved Days premieres in the UK on 29 December at the award-winning cinema ArtHouse Crouch End in London at 8.30pm.
Beloved Days: director’s note
“The film “Beloved”, shot in 1970 in the now Turkish-occupied village of Karmi in Cyprus, functions as the kaleidoscope of the documentary, introducing images of that magical time, and of the island’s promising future as a filming destination: a future that was terminated abruptly by the Turkish invasion of 1974. Naturally, the memories and the emotions of whoever experienced these two important events of the seventies, along with the changes that the invasion has brought into the lives and their psyche, are weaved into the documentary.
The opening landscape shots are an important element of the documentary’s filmic language, predisposing the viewer with a feeling of remembrance and nostalgia, while at the same time symbolizing the course of the characters’ lives through time. Shots, characterized by simplicity, focus on the faces of the characters, capturing their human dimension. The documentary’s atmosphere, moving between realism and fiction through the re-enacted scenes, brings out the color of a world of innocence and carelessness, while at the same time entering the inner world of the characters, and transmitting self-reflections upon their experiences.
The documentary’s music plays an important part in the narrative flow, completing its poetic approach and transmitting powerful emotions to the viewer.
Finally, an innovative element of the documentary is that the characters do not know how the story will evolve, thus capturing realistic and unexpected reactions on camera. The aim of this different narrative approach is to touch the audience on a personal level, encouraging sensitization, awareness and reflection.” – Constantinos Patsalides
The village of Karmi is located west of Kyrenia, in the occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Following the Turkish invasion of 1974, Karmi was ethnically cleansed of its legitimate Greek population. Since then it has been illegally colonised by Brits, Germans and others who illegally acquired the homes of refugees. Those displaced Cypriots who now live in exile are forbidden from returning by Turkey and its army of occupation.
One of the best new Cypriot documentaries Marinos Nomikos, Feelgood
Provoking. Exciting. Entertaining Tony Moussoulides, Cyprus Weekly
Ingenious narration, powerfully documented George Savvinides, Philenews.com
Simplicity and humanity in a carefree world Sherif Awad, Westchester Guardian New York, Doc Aljazeera Cinema
Arthouse Crouch End
159A Tottenham Lane, London, N8 9BT