Thessaloniki Film Festival: Reply of the director to the Metropolitan – “No one can ban the poster”

Elise Zalando’s general manager replied to the letter of Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Philotheos, who had asked that the film “Small bodies” of Elina Psykos be not posted. The director of the Thessaloniki Film Festival says in her reply that neither she nor any other official body can prohibit it, since it does not violate the Constitution and the laws, while she appreciates that it does not offend “the free disposition of our love for Christ, His Church and the holy Faces of our Faith” and that there is nothing offensive or mocking in this poster. Moreover, he invites the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki to the screening, to see for himself that this documentary is run by the creator’s desire to record the suffering of people who suffer because their freedom is limited. In her letter, the Director-General of the FVO – among others – notes: “I understand that the promotional poster of the film Fragrant Bodies perhaps expresses views contrary to yours. The same I am sure is true of other artistic works presented in cinemas, television stations, art halls and museums. But I see works that I don’t like, and I hear opinions that are contrary to mine. But under no circumstances could I ask for their ban or withdrawal, because this is contrary to the State of Law. The same is true with the poster of the film Muds. As an artistic work it can be read in many ways and cause a variety of reactions. Without having anything to do with its creation, we have heard many different views at the Festival: from positive and praiseworthy, to offensive and threatening. But neither I nor any other official body can ban it once it does not violate the Constitution and laws. So I understand your concern about this poster. But please understand that the acts of prohibition or censorship are contrary not only to my values but also to the laws of our state.” Elise Zalando also responds to the observation of the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki that in recent years various artists have “used the sacred Faces of Faith to advertise events and art creations, exceeding the limits of malicious provocation and abusive intent” pointing out: “The truth is that this is also the case, but not with Mrs. Psykou’s poster, which I do not believe offends “the free disposition of our love for Christ, His Church and the holy Faces of our Faith”, In other words, I believe that this poster, as you write to me, seeks “the resurrection and resurrection, the restoration of man to the original beauty of God.” He expresses the view that the Cross of the Lord “is not only a symbol of faith, a simple image that is played statically throughout the centuries, but also an inclusive place and a moving way that embraces the fallen man, the suffering man, the yourself a stranger, which we must welcome in humility, understanding and love.”