Art / Greece

Kiveri and the Secret to Life

Imagine someone whispering to you the secret to a good life, rewarding beyond your imagination. This whisper comes through cinematographer and film director Panayloti Yannitsos in his short film, Kiveri.

The film opens with a radiant rising sun illuminating the small village of Kiveri on the bay of Argos, less than two hours from Athens. White washed homes are high on the hill. Brilliant pink bougainvillea blossoms on lush emerald vines decorate the path down to the water. A small church dedicated to St. George is nestled in the rocks over looking where fishermen gather at the water’s edge.

The sea collects the memories of the children playing and the fishermen’s dreams and wishes. Generation followed by generation as far back as antiquity have enjoyed the harvest of oranges and olives in Kiveri. Tradition is tradition. Each holiday the family gathers for a feast with lamb.

Yannitsos’ camera lens shows the extended family as they prepare for the holiday feast. Some start the morning sharing a coffee. Later others prepare the lamb. Until all, young and old, meet together around the table.

Yannitsos says that his film, Kiveri

“is dedicated to my late great uncle Kosta Hasapis, who loved the simplicity of Kiveri as much as anyone.”

Yannitsos explains,

“My great uncle, Kosta Hasapis, has been in my life ever since I was a young boy visiting Greece. He is my grandfather’s brother (on my mom’s side) and has been a father figure to my entire family. My grandfather’s father passed away very young, so young that my grandfather never met him, and so my great uncle Kosta became the man of the house at a young age. My great uncle was a very simple man. He loved the farm, especially, and he loved family gatherings. He found so much joy in the simple day to day activities of life. You could say that

he found a beautiful poetry within every daily activity.”

Yannitsos has a raw talent for the art of filmmaking. The scene of a young boy on a red bicycle riding across the sand by the sea is poetry in film. Even the candid scene of the gentle affection between the elder brothers reveals a powerful tribute to the love and sacrifices often made within a family.

Yannitsos says that making films,

“allows me to express my thoughts, beliefs, and ideologies at an incredibly intimate level.”

Perfect for the holidays, Kiveri offers the secret to living a good life for all to remember. It is the simple moments in life with family, friends and community that are the most important, the foundation for living.

“I feel like this is the Grecian lifestyle that we need to focus on.  Self-sustaining, peaceful, and family-oriented.” says Yannitsos.

Hestia and the gods must be smiling.

By Keri Douglas, writer and photographer, Washington, DC. (Please follow 9 Muses News copyright use policy.)

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5 thoughts on “Kiveri and the Secret to Life

  1. Really nice film celebrating authentic Greek life. Fortunately, there are still many places in Greece that have survived mass tourism with the traditional culture and family life intact. I can vouch for the southern Peloponnese as well where there are hill villages, in particular, that have changed little and where Greeks are still masters of a simple, pared-down and timeless lifestyle. It’s why people are drawn back to Greece again and again, despite the crisis.

  2. Thanks for sharing your note!
    Am happy to hear that mass tourism has not changed everything and the simple life still exists.
    I love this film for the authenticity, the family and the sense of spirit among everyone. This is should be shared with more. Love it!

  3. Thank you Keri for bringing our attention to this wonderful film. Marjory, you make an excellent point, about the simplicity and beauty of the Greek traditional culture.
    I have spend quite a few short vacations on the Argolis area…mainly Nauplion, Tollo, and Epidauros. Unforgettable memories from a place that keeps beckoning me back!

    The kind of authentic people and the values they live that Panayiotis chose to film are common to many Greek families and areas. He brought back memories of my own grandfather and father and many others who exhibited love and wisdom not so common today, but still existing.

    You inspired me, Keri, to share my take on the value of the Greek ideal and wisdom of simplicity and moderation in my blog.

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