The Rembetika Blues is a documentary film about the power of music and what makes us human. Rembetika music or the Greek blues is a music of the streets and a music of refugees. The film explores the heart and soul of Rembetika music through peoples’ stories of love, loss and belonging.
I became fascinated by Rembetika music because of its history and my personal relationship to the music. I am the granddaughter of refugees from the Smyrna disaster in Turkey in 1922. A tragedy that has been forgotten in the annals of European and world history.
The film tracks my grandmother’s story through images of the Smyrna disaster in 1922, and the arrival of refugees into the port of Piraeus, Greece. Through the interweaving of my story narration, interviews and the music, this film will bring the depth of humanness of forced migration and the intergenerational relationships of memory and trauma. My film provides a unique approach to Rembetika music and to migration experience by exploring the
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
This film provides an urgent and timely discussion of what makes us human. It will directly address the unprecedented number of displaced people across the world through the Greek case example of Rembetika music and its evolution around the world. This film looks at the often intangible and everyday experience of forced migration through music.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
The aim of this film is to engage audiences in conversation through to traditional and social media outlets, and to open out a more humane public dialogue around the experience of forced migration and refugees to help promote different governmental and social policies as well as to raise the awareness of communities around the world.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
This film provides an urgent and timely discussion of what makes us human. Over 1 million refugees arrived into Greece from the Smyrna disaster in 1922 and since 2015, over 1.5 million refugees have arrived into Greece from Syria and other Middle East countries.
This film will directly address the unprecedented number of displaced people across the world through the Greek case example. This film looks at the often intangible and everyday experience of refugees through music.
By doing this, the film seeks to document what is often left out of official history and bring to light migration and refugee stories through the music. It will provide a humane perspective on the refugee crisis as it is experienced in Europe and around the world, it will examine the implications for a more humane response to the migrant crisis in a worldwide context.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
We are building relationships with different universities and institutions including Queens College, City University of New York, and the Greek Film Archive in Athens.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
To enable community building and awareness of forced migration nationally and internationally. To help promote policies and directives to address fundamental human needs for people experiencing forced migration and settlement in new communities.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
We will be able to monitor our impact through international and national film festivals, international and local broadcasters, schools, universities, libraries and museums. As experienced with my first film Dogs of Democracy, the impact can be measured by the ongoing distribution, and circulation of the film well beyond its release date, and this film like Dogs of Democracy touches upon key social justice and human rights issues around the world.