Monday, January 4, 2021

Short Film: "Maria of 11" (2018)


The following short film by Babis Kiliaris, titled "Maria of 11", is a tragic fictional story that portrays in a simple and beautiful way the true story of many who suffered with leprosy. The lead actress portrays a newly-married woman named Maria who was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with leprosy. Immediately after her diagnosis in 1946, she chooses to be admitted at the Lovokomeio of Chios, which served as a leper colony. In Room 11 she lived by herself for 11 years until she died and was buried in grave number 11. To add to the tragedy, she dies just a year before a cure is found for leprosy (Hansen's disease).

The actors and actresses in the film are all amateurs and locals of the area who are sensitive to the history of the colony. The central role, played by Alexandra Moschouri, was convincing from the beginning. She herself, after reading the script, seemed so sad and skeptical that she thought she was Maria herself. She managed to render the personality of the heroine perfectly to the end. The priest, Matthaios Mavrogiorgis, exudes respect in every scene he appears. The nurse, Irini Georgouli, seems to do her job very correctly and conscientiously. The doctor, Pantelis Gialis, seems to have been really moved, as soon as he diagnosed leprosy in Maria and with real pain signed her admission to the institution.

On camera and editing was Michalis Koiliaris who also chose the background music. Narrator was Manolis Lagadousis. Production was EEAS Kofina, Sifi Chios.

The purpose of the film is to show the complete abandonment of this great monument, the Lovokomeio of Chios, the longest-running leper colony in Greece, from 1378 to 1959, and its timely preservation in every way.

The premiere of Babis Koiliaris' short film "Maria of 11" took place successfully at the Lovokomeio of Chios and on the Day of Remembrance held by the cultural association of the Kofina and Sifi area.

Crowds watched both screenings that were scheduled for the morning and afternoon of Sunday 8/12/2018, cordially applauding the result.
The short film is narrated in Greek with English subtitles, though the English subtitles are not very good, but good enough to follow the story.