SMYRNA: THE DESTRUCTION OF A COSMOPO-LITAN CITY, 1900-1922. Even, I suspect, old fogies like TrustMovies, may have some trouble coming up with the time and place that this fabled city existed (and we don't mean Smyrna, Georgia), so long has it been since many of us have heard the name or, for that matter, the larger location in which this city rested: Asia Minor. (It has literally been decades, I think, since I've heard spoken or seen those two words in print.)
Maria Iliou (shown at left) and the several experts whom she and her crew have rounded up, this truly cosmopolitan city comes to life -- and death -- in a documentary that should take its place as a prime work of necessary historical excavation. We often hear the world "cosmopolitan" bandied about, in reference to American cities such as New York and San Francisco, but to hear our narrators speak about Smyrna -- the sounds of its multi-cultural music, its languages spoken, fashions worn and food eaten -- is to define that word anew, and definitively.
Levantines (TM had to look up that word, so he figures you might need the definition, too), each group in its own district and all managing to get along within the borders of the city -- thanks in good part to the kind of "mayor" who made certain that every group was included in the "spoils," so to speak.
Alexander Kitroeff, Giles Milton, Victoria Solomonidis, Eleni Bastea and Leyla Neyzi, and they are all worth seeing and hearing. When it comes time to tell us what happened to Smyrna, the speakers do not stint, and it is among the most horrible tales of destruction and genocide that I can recall -- made worse by the fact that warships of the Great Powers were sitting in the Smyrna harbor all the while and for too long a time did absolutely nothing to help the populace.
Quad Cinema, where director Maria Iliou (shown above) and Historical Consultant Alexander Kitroeff will be present for a Q&A after the 7:00 show on Friday, April 5th. There will be another Q&A with Director Maria Iliou and the film's director of photography, Allen Moore, on Friday April 12th at the 7:00pm show. You can learn of other screenings internationally by first clicking here, and then clicking on SCREENINGS AND NEWS at the bottom of the frame.