The documentary "In the Arvanitika" it is an attempt to eternalize a lost language by revealing who the arvanites are and what role they played in modern Greek history. Katerina Martha Clark, in his second feature film, after the Polka in Athens (where he investigates the relations between Polish and Greek immigrants and political refugees in Greece and Poland respectively), he focuses with his camera on arvaniti and arvanite. Wrapped in a traditional Arvanitiko village, the Villa discovers a unique culture, with dynamic women and a stubbornness, the so-called Arvanite head with a special sense of humor.
Driven by the memories of childhood and with her natural curiosity for the language she heard from her grandparents as a child, the director of Greek origin Katerina Martha Clark, begins to discover the roots of the language and arvanitic culture. Being half-arvanized and keeping her promise to her mother after her grandfather's death completes an initiative that began years ago.
Like the first cinematographic research on arvaniti, based mainly on the Ville dell'Attica, beyond the language, it places particular emphasis on both the culture and the representation of the particular personality of the arvaniti, as well as on their historical course up to their settlement in the suburbs.
Difficult, but also with black humor, dynamic women and the well-known persuasion arvanita, with a lost language and with the interest of the younger generations at their roots, the director composes a puzzle of older and younger narratives and, with the help of the researcher and sociologist Elena Botsi, she shows us that this culture will not be lost, since their interest in their minority does not weaken over time, on the contrary, it becomes stronger.
Contrary to the past times when arvaniti renounced their language, not wanting to be accused as non-Greek (also known as linguistic suicide), younger generations are more determined to claim both their culture and their language and pass it on to their children. Although there is a reasonable trend towards a reduction in language transfer, it is important that children still hear linguistic sounds in their home. Arvanito has a very difficult way of writing, like the liquid fricative vowels behind consonants, in everyday expressions and in everyday communication and is used mostly by the elderly.
In particular in Arab society it is women who, in their cruel and eloquent way, have succeeded and shaped the man. In matriarchal society, their position was almost equal to that of men and even "strong" sex admired the fact that they eventually took the lead.
Tough, hardworking, careful, patient with golden hair and humorous, they are arvaniti.
Their relevance over the centuries and during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire is also of historical interest, showing us the path of the nomadic ethnic group from Northern Epirus to their current place of residence. Reference is also made to the participation of the arvanites in the 1821 revolution, since, as is known, the great Aryan captains and admirals were of arvanitic origin (Botsaris, Androutsos, Karaiskakis, Kountouriotis, Miaoulis, Bouboulinas), and the Muslims who are in the current modeling of the Balkans.
By visiting the houses, cafes, courtyards, observing how holidays and their daily homes pass, letting them speak honestly, the director manages to give us a complete picture of the arvaniti's attitude towards life, the past, memories and in remembering their tongue. It gives us a sincere look at the term "Testa di arvaniti", this stubbornness that has kept its spirit alive for centuries and its resistance not to get lost in its past and its customs in the vortex of evolution.
- Screenplay: direction: by Katerina-Martha Clark
- mounting: Helen Toya
- Research: Elena Botsi
- Translation: Dimitra Constanta
- PRODUCTION: Greece, 2019
- Distribution NEW STAR
"In Arvanitika" is an attempt to eternalize a lost language and find out who the Arvanites are and what role they played in modern Greek history. Wrapped in an arvaniti village, Vila, we discover a unique culture with lively and stubborn women, the so-called Arvaniti head and special humor.
Laskarina Bouboulina was an arvanita Greek patriot and her army was also of arvanita ethnicity, and they spoke in arvanita language. (This is what the boy who speaks first says)
Around 1500-1600 years ago, they came down from northern Albania and settled in northern Epirus, in nomadic economic groups. Groups of people also came down from Skopje, living in a group down there (this is what the gentleman with the striped shirt says)