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"Voice of Blood" by Antonis Angastionotis

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"Voice of Blood" by Antonis Angastionotis

Postby Alasya » Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:49 pm

CYPRIOT filmmaker and writer Antonis Angastiniotis says the media has effectively banned a film he made portraying the mass killing of Turkish Cypriots in the villages of Aloa, Maratha and Sandalari in 1974 (04.11.2004)

‘Frozen Out’: Greek Cypriot Battles To Have Documentary On ’74 Killings Aired

By Simon Bahceli, CYPRUS MAIL

CYPRIOT filmmaker and writer Antonis Angastiniotis says the media has effectively banned a film he made portraying the mass killing of Turkish Cypriots in the villages of Aloa, Maratha and Sandalari in 1974.

“We claim European stan­dards, European principles, European laws, but the TV channels didn't even ask to look at the film,” Angastiniotis told the Cy­prus Mail yesterday.

“Not even the Cyprus News Agency, which moni­tors all the news coming out of Turkey and the north, mentioned that all the me­dia, the Turkish-language organs were reporting on my film,” he added.

So far, Angastiniotis’ film has only been shown in the Turkish Cypriot north. But he says his target audience is not Turkish Cypriots but Greek Cypriots.

“All Turkish Cypriots know what happened in these villages. It's the Greek Cypriots who don't.”

Angastiniotis’ 30-minute film, titled The Voice of Blood, gives a detailed ac­count of how dozens of Turk­ish Cypriot women and children of the three villages were killed and thrown into mass graves by Greek Cypri­ots from neighbouring vil­lages in the period between the two Turkish invasions in 1974. It includes extensive footage and interviews with survivors of the attacks.

The filmmaker believes that despite Cyprus’ European and democratic cre­dentials, it still has problems coming to terms with its past.

“Let's face it: truth is truth. As a state you have to be able to face your faults, your mis­takes, your history,” Angastiniotis says.

Worse still, he believes there is an unhealthy atti­tude in the country that pre­vents people from airing their views if they are out of line with government policy.

“There is terror. Some peo­ple even believe there is a list of who said 'yes' and who said ‘no’ in the referendum.”

Angastiniotis is frustrated at the problems he has had getting his film aired.

“The media is being con­trolled. There is no other way of putting it,” he said, adding Sigma had strong connec­tions with the Presidential Palace, CyBC was a state channel, the Church influ­enced Mega and Antenna had likewise backed the 'no' campaign.

Angastiniotis describes his project as “something I had to do”.

“If I didn't do this I couldn't sleep at night, and if they want to stop me making films on this subject, they will have to shoot me”.

He adds, however, that he is not trying to paint the Turkish Cypriots as victim and the Greek Cypriots as perpetrators.

“I never said the Turks did not commit war crimes. They did. But I am responsi­ble for the Greek side. I hope a Turkish Cypriot has the guts to do what I have done and make a film about Turk­ish atrocities,” He explains.

The film is the culmination of several years of collecting data from archives and from chatting with locals in coffeeshops. It was com­pleted in August this year.

He says he was inspired to make it when he realised there was a gap in the knowl­edge of his generation about the recent history of the is­land - especially regarding the events of 1963 and 64, which he believes are brushed over by Greek Cyp­riot interpretations of his­tory.

But the film focuses on three villages on the plain between Nicosia and Famagusta and what hap­pened there when the men of the village were being held in prisoner-of-war camps in Limassol and the Turkish in­vasion was underway.

“The Greek Cypriots of the neighbouring villages, along with army personnel attacked the village. They shot the children, the mothers and the old people left in vil­lages"

"For me it became a night­mare because all these years I had been convinced that everything we had done was right.”

Speaking on behalf of CyBC television, Andros Pavlides told the Cyprus Mail he would like to see the film to assess whether it was suitable for broadcast, but that he had had "too little time" to do so. A spokesman for Sigma also said he had not seen the film because of time constraints.

All other channels denied knowledge of the film or the filmmaker, despite Angastiniotis' insistence that he written to them all telling them of it.

‘I never said the Turks did not commit war crimes. They did. But I am responsible for the Greek side. I hope a Turkish Cypriot has the guts to do what I have done and make a film about Turkish atrocities’
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Postby brother » Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:58 am

CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET A COPY OF THIS FILM PLEASE.
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film

Postby tony » Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:20 am

brother wrote:CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET A COPY OF THIS FILM PLEASE.


I am the maker of the film contac me at angastiniotis@hotmail.com
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Postby brother » Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:25 pm

thanks my e-mail on its way to you.
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Postby Old Soldier » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:15 am

I was a young man who served in the middle of that war 30 years ago.
I can tell you for a fact that there were attrocities commited on both sides.

With the greatest of respect for Tony, why bring up painful memories for a lot of people, both Turk and Greek, who suffered during that war.

Some things are just better laid to rest and pray to God that they never happen again.

Kind Regards to all.
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Postby Bananiot » Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:02 pm

I appreciate the point made above. For me it would be enough if both sides recognise the mistakes they made and vow never to repeat them, apologising at the same time to each other. However, there are still people on both sides that actually believe that atrocities were committed only by the "other" side. I can speak about the GC side. How many GC children in schools have heard of Maratha, Aloa, Sandalaris or Tohni? I can tell you, none! So, perhaps, what Antonis did will help us to bury the skeletons we all have in our closets.
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Postby Old Soldier » Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:08 pm

Bananiot: I agree with you 100 %. A lot of people on both sides refuse to believe that attrocities were committed against both GC and TC.
Certain factions on each side were just as brutal as the other. It is time for both sides to forgive, make reparations, and make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
Again, with the greatest respect for Tony, do you think that a movie will change people's minds whose minds do not want to be changed.

I personally respect Tony's convictions for making the film and I am going to order it.

I wrote a poem some time ago that sums up my feelings about that war. I would like to share it with whoever wants to read it and maybe learn from it.

CYPRUS 1974

I THINK OF THAT PLACE, I TRY TO FORGET
MY MEMORY WON’T LET ME, IN STONE IT IS SET
I THINK OF THE YOUNG MEN MAIMED AND DEAD
DEAD ON THE STREET WITH THEIR GUTS ALL SPREAD

THE NAMES OF THE DEAD, I DO NOT KNOW
BUT THEY WERE ALL BROTHERS, THIS I KNOW
JUST YOUNG BOYS WHO ANSWERED THE CALL
NEVER THINKING THAT THEY WOULD FALL

TURKS, GREEKS, NOBODY GIVES A SHIT
AS WE LOWER THEM INTO THIS WORTHLESS PIT
AS I SHOVEL SAND ONTO A YOUNG FACE
WHAT A DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE

I LOOK AT THE DEAD BOYS, DID THEY ALL DIE IN VAIN
BECAUSE THE KILLING GOES ON, AGAIN AND AGAIN
I LOOK UP AS IT IS STARTING TO RAIN
I HOPE IT HIDES THE TEARS OF MY PAIN


IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO WAS WRONG OR RIGHT
TO THE MANY WHO HAVE DIED IN THIS TERRIBLE FIGHT
I THINK OF MY BROTHERS WHO ARE LONG SINCE DEAD
LEAVING WIDOWS AND ORPHANS WITHOUT ANY BREAD


WHEN THE WAR FINALLY ENDED WHO WAS AHEAD
I CAN ASSURE ALL YOU FOLKS IT WAS’NT THE DEAD
THEY LIE IN THEIR GRAVES TO HEAVEN THEY LOOK
ASKING OUR LORD WHY THEIR LIFE IT WAS TOOK

Kind Regards to all

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Postby insan » Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:32 pm

Certain factions on each side were just as brutal as the other. It is time for both sides to forgive, make reparations, and make sure nothing like this ever happens again.



I completely agree with you, old soldier. I wish all who committed atrocities against the others to have a brave and praiseworthy heart as you have. All Cypriots, Turks and Greeks who willingly or unwillingly, either as a consequence of the circumstances or not, shortly to say, for whatever reason it was; all those who participated in that meaningless war should appology to each other and acknowledge their crimes, mistakes and even their helplessless...


Your excellent poem tells all about the fact, old soldier. I hope you can influence all others to follow your brave and praiseworthy step...

With love and respect
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Postby Bananiot » Mon Dec 27, 2004 7:54 pm

Thank you for sharing the poem with us. Your voice reminds me of the voice of a tragic mother whose son was killed in a military helicopter accident about 3 years ago. I will never forget her, crying out loud to the top brass that made their way to the funeral out of duty "enough with wars, lets have no more wars". This woman did not curse the enemy, she cursed war, at this saddest day in her life.
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Postby Old Soldier » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:51 pm

Bananiot: Sadly, it is always the Mothers that suffer the most. There has been enough tears and blood shed over the past years in Cyprus. It is time for ALL Governments and individuals who were involved in the 1974 war to accept full responsiblity for what happened. Forgive, and move on.
Never should something like that happen ever again.
All people have the right to feel safe and live their life in freedom.
Reparations should be made to ALL who suffered and lost everything.
I don't mean to sound uncaring as you can never make it up to anyone for the loss of a loved one who was taken way before their time.

God Bless

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