Documentary 2019 | 91' | Color
Original languages Greek German English Hewbrew
A film by Max Geilke and Mario Forth | Editor Nicole Schmeier (bfs) | Production Eyedolon Pictureworks
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Salonika - A city with amnesia


''A journey in time. Once a cosmopolitan city and religious and cultural melting pot, Thessaloniki experienced its decline in the 20th century. A shock that defines the city to this day.''

Thessaloniki’s unique status as a cosmopolitan city and religious and cultural melting pot ended abruptly in the 20th century. The „shock“ experienced by the ancient city continues to impact life there even today. The deportation of the Jews inevitably marked the demise of what was once the „Jerusalem of the Balkans“. But even before this, the Muslim world disappeared from Thessaloniki with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and expulsion of the Turks. Today, the old mosques and baths are nothing more than ruins and little notice is taken of the old Jewish tombstones that are used throughout the city as building material, their Hebrew inscriptions still legible. Despite numerous witnesses of the past, it’s as if the era when Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together never happened at all. A city that has been home to generations of different cultures for thousands of years suddenly forgets its recent history: it is suffering from amnesia. We go back in time and look at out how activists, politicians, historians and contemporary witnesses deal with their tumultuous past. With the help of newly digitalised archive footage and historical documents, we shed light on the city’s buried past.