In December 1945, 150 young Greek men and women embarked upon a journey to Paris on a ship called the “Mataroa”. Their escape from war-torn Greece was a traumatic experience that eventually transformed into creative expression, impacting the intellectual and artistic developments of postwar Europe. A passage from obscurity to visibility, the story of the “Mataroa” and its passengers is a journey that continues to inspire, even 70 years later.
Milos, an island in Cyclades, is one of the biggest natural harbors in the Mediterranean. During WWII, it was one of the most important bases of the German occupation army. The refuge of Adamadas was built through forced labor to house the German operation center. After the war it was closed down and forgotten even by the locals. Nearly 70 years later it opens again for the in situ installation “Refuge Project”, featuring artists from Greece, Germany, Italy, Cyprus and France.
The documentary focuses on the process of collecting testimonies from the locals that in turn inspire the artists into artistic action, thus bringing to the foreground the Greek-German relations during the occupation and during the current economic crisis. It also calls attention to the relation between oral and official history, and comments on the touristic character of the island and the relation between “colonist” tourists and “colonized” locals today.
The purpose of the film is to show the concrete correlation between art and sociopolitical context and to invite the spectator to reconsider the import of such undertakings, posing questions about contemporary culture and its historical legacies.