Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  26 minutes
Date:  1989
Genre:  Expository
Language:  French; German; English
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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This title is included in the following collections: The Docuseek2 Complete Collection 2nd Edition, The Owl's Legacy
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The Owl's Legacy: Amnesty, or History on the March

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Episode 5 of renowned filmmaker Chris Marker's mythical masterpiece about the influence of Greek culture on our society. This episode explores the theme of "Amnesty, or History on the March".

The Owl's Legacy: Amnesty, or History on the March

Western history is said to begin with the Greeks—more specifically, with Herodotus, credited as the first historian. But the ancient Greek conception of history, based on the idea of self-examination, is very different from current conceptions. History in some ways is the interplay between remembering and forgetting—and it always being reconsidered and reimagined.

Located at the intersection of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Greece has long been a pawn in the games played by the great powers of the day, be they French, Russian, British, German, or American. 

This episode, primarily featuring director Elia Kazan (with clips from his film America, America) and writer Vassilis Vassilikos, covers the “period of amnesia” in Greek history from the war of independence against the Ottomans to the overthrow of the junta and permanent exile of the king in the 1970s. It is a period filled with absurdities like a Bavarian child-king who spoke no Greek, alongside tragedies, including the Greek Civil War of 1947-1949, the massacre of the Greeks of Asia Minor, and the military coup of the Colonels.

“We should raze the Sorbonne and put Chris Marker in its place.” —Henri Michaux

The primary pleasure of the series, which is incredibly inspiring, is linked to this great banquet of participants, the sum of knowledge they invoke, but above all to the playful flows the editing establishes between their ideas, constructing a formidable network of meanings, historical and cultural perspectives -  a veritable encyclopedia of development." —Le Monde

“Why did we have to wait so long for this electrifyingly intelligent film?” —Le Point

“Thirteen words to uncover an entire civilization and reestablish its considerable influence on our modern societies.” —Les Inrockuptibles

“With erudition, Chris Marker questions in each episode what remains Greek within us.” —Philosophie Magazine

Citation

Main credits

Marker, Chris (film director)
Peck, Bob (narrator)

Other credits

Music, Eleni Karaindrou [and 4 others]; camerapersons, Andreas Sinanos [and 4 others]; editing team, Khadicha Bariha, Nedjma Scialom.


Distributor credits

Chris Marker

Docuseek2 subjects

France
Ancient History
Greece
Filmmakers
Japan
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
Gay and Lesbian Studies
Historical Anthropology

Distributor subjects

Historical Anthropology
Ancient Greece
Chris Marker
France
Philosophy

Keywords

"The Owl's Legacy"; Icarus Films; France; Chris Marker; Ancient Greece; culture;

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