Don’t hold your breath: “Breathtaking Athens” | Promotion film

by Ares Kalandides

A pretty film with pretty images.  Places in Athens I know and love. Spots of quiet contemplation, of culture and relaxation.  Despite (or because of) its generic elevator music, a soothing film about the little oases of peace in the city. But what about all of you out there who are not Athenians?

Imagine that you actually see the film and decide to visit Athens for the first time. You can ask me or others and we can point out most of the sites highlighted in it. Well, I am sure that when you actually get there, you will probably feel that somebody is playing a nasty trick on you. To go from one of these spots to the other you will need to pass vast areas of visible poverty and profound misery, you will walk on non-existing pavements where motorcycles will do their best to run you over before you cross congested streets with a nightmarish concert of  car-horns doing irreparable damage to your hearing. You will probably give up before you reach the second one of these stunning individual locations.

Place promoters should understand that they are not doing themselves a favour by lying about their city (omission is a particular kind of lie). These pockets of beauty are not even what a tourist (whatever this abstract human being may be) is necessarily always looking for.

I am not saying that a promotion film about Athens can be a political film on the problems of unemployment or poverty. I am not that naive. I am just saying that there is a minumim of realism we need to respect – even in this fickle business of advertizing.

So, what and who is this film about? I have not the slightest idea. It is giving a promise that is bound to be broken.  I love Athens for many reasons; certainly not for its peace and quiet.

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2 Responses to Don’t hold your breath: “Breathtaking Athens” | Promotion film

  1. mk302 says:

    The elevator music is the worst! Athens – thankfully – sounds nothing like that. The sound of Athens is a noise that messes up your ears and brains. And that’s how it should be…

  2. tilman says:

    oh.. there is nobody demonstrating in front of the parliament. is it really athens?

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