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The Owl's Legacy: 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


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.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Historical Anthropology
Ancient Greece
Chris Marker


"The Owl's Legacy"; Icarus Films; France; Chris Marker; Ancient Greece; culture; ,doc,art; history; shod

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