Fishermen and fishing: An unknown greek masterpiece

Κατάλογος Αφιερώματος

28 June - 7 July, for FREE at

On Sunday 27 June, the Greek Film Archive will present a restored copy of the unknown masterpiece Fishermen and Fishing, by Leon Loissios, produced in 1961 (22’), narrated by the acclaimed director Stavros Tornes and edited by RovirosManthoulis. There will be also screened the classic silent film Social Decay (1932, 50’) by Stelios Tatassopoulos with French subtitles. The screening of both films is on the 27th of June, at the LAIS Open-Air Cinema (21:15).

Following this physical screening, from the 28th of June till 7th of July the fil ms will be available for free, at the Film Archive’s digital cinema-theatre

The short-documentary Fishermen and Fishing, documents all forms of traditional fishing and the life of fisherman of the Molivos community in Mytilene, as it transposes us to Mithymna of 1961, through a series of images from another era. As spectators we witness a slice of life in the fishing village of Molivos and the daily activities of the fishermen, as well as Sunday with the liturgy at the local church and leisure in the coffee shop.

Fishermen sail in the open sea on a purse seine; a view of the settlement of Molivos; a coffeshop, the narrow cobbled-pavements and the Castle; women chatter and weave outside of their homes. One could say that this is an attempt to inaugurate the cinema of observation in Greece. Loissios’ film was a collective effort with people who would become important in the fields of cinema and film criticism.
Narration: Stavros Tornes. Editing: Robert Manthoulis. Scenario: Leon Loissios, Giannis Bakogianopoulos (texts), Dimitris Kehaidis (texts).

In this film the anthropological gaze celebrates the poetics of fishing and the rites of communal life, which go back to Homeric times.


Social Decay was the first Greek social realist film, precursor of neorealism in Greece.

It is the first fiction film, to focus on the plight of the unemployed and poor working-class populations of the urban centres, and struggles for the formation of trade unions. The majority of the actors were amateurs and even used pseudonyms. Given that trade-unionism and any other mobilization and protest, which could be labeled as communist, was persecuted as an “illegal and offensive act” under a 1929 Venizelos act, the shooting of the film, was in itself a rather risky business. The film also run into trouble with censorship, depicting drug addiction, in all its gruesome details. As such, its first screenings resulted in police interventions and screening cancellations.

The director of the film Stelios Tatassopoulos, was only 25 years old when he shot ”Social Decay”, his debut film. He wrote the screenplay and enacted the leading role of the poor student, who becomes an actor but abandons his career in the theater, when his girlfriend, who is the leading lady, abandons him for a rich industrialist. After a near fatal fall to the heart of the Athenian underworld, from where he is saved by a group of tobacco-workers, he works in the tobacco factory and becomes a trade-union activist.

Starring: Stelios Tatassopoulos, Danae Grizou, Joly Garbi, Kimon Spathopoulos, Costas Logariastakis.

The film will be accompanied by an original musical score by Konstantinos Vita.

Τhe digital restoration was realized in co-operation with Documenta 14: Learning from Athens. Partner: CINEMATEK Co-producer: COSMOTE TV. With the support of the Greek Film Centre


The restoration and digitization of the documentary, Fishermen and Fishing, in 2Κwas processed from the original film-negative and other available materials. The sound, was also digitally restored and a new 2K master is now available. The film will be screened with English and French subtitles. The project was made possible thanks to the 'A Season of Classic Films’ programme, an initiative by ACE (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes), with the support of the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme. The French subtitles for the film Social Decay were created, as part of the same programme.

This initiative is part of a larger project of restoration/digitization of Greek narrative fiction ancreative partners and rights holders.

The restoration and digitization project, as it has already been done with other films from our collection, will be carried out in Greek and foreign laboratories, in accordance with international state of the arts practices, adopted by the greatest international film archives such as the French Film Archive, The Royal Film Archive of Belgium and the L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.


Fishermen and fishing
Fishermen and fishing
(Ψαράδες και ψαρέματα)

PHYSICAL SCREENING: 27th June, LAIS Open-Air Cinema 
ONLINE SCREENING: 28th June - 7th July,

Read more ...
Social decay
Social decay
(Κοινωνική σαπίλα)

PHYSICAL SCREENING: 27th June, LAIS Open-Air Cinema 
ONLINE SCREENING: 28th June - 7th July,

Read more ...



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