In the Media

In the Media
Nationalities Papers – The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity / Sofia TypaldouNovember 28, 2017Article originally published on November 6 2017. In the spring of 2017, when I was interviewing Golden Dawn followers for a research project, some of the movement activists that I encountered refused to be interviewed because of “that film that just came out.” As I later learned, they were referring to the documentary by Angélique Kourounis Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair. When I watched it later on, I understood why. Kourounis offers a perceptive insight into one of the most well-known Western European far-right organizations. Her account is based on her years-long persistent following of Golden Dawn members. As a professional journalist, Kourounis makes it clear from the start that this film is her own partial account of Golden Dawn, because “if Golden Dawn comes to power, our only problem will be which wagon they will put us on.” Since 2012, Golden Dawn has been featured in at least one documentary per year. Konstantinos Georgousis’ The Cleaners (2012) follows Golden Dawn candidates in the center of Athens in the run-up to the 2012 election that catapulted the organization from the fringe to the center of Greek politics. Guy Stallaman and Kate Mata’s Into the Fire (2013) focuses on problems faced by migrants in Greece. Aris Chatzistefanou’s Fascism Inc., released in 2014, outlines economic factors that gave rise to fascism in the interwar period and highlights the similarities between today’s Greece and pre-war Germany and Italy. Finally, Marsia Tzivara’s Burning from the Inside (2015) shows the reaction of the Greek anti-fascist movement, especially in Berlin, to a rise of right-wing extremism. Following in the footsteps of these documentaries, Kourounis’ film completes the picture of how the far right made it to the Greek Parliament, a topic of an increasing scholarly interest since the Golden Dawn came in fifth with 7% of the vote in the 2012 general election. Yet, it is different from the previous films on this topic as it presents a sober overview of the factors that led to Golden Dawn’s staggering rise. Some of these factors have to do with devastating effects of austerity on the Greek economy – skyrocketing poverty levels, compressed wages, high unemployment rates – and on the Greeks’ pride as individuals and as a nation. The documentary outlines several institutional factors that contributed to Golden Dawn’s rise: the complacency of police; the ineffectiveness and partiality of the judicial system; the role of school education in the promotion of nationalism; and support for Golden Dawn’s ideology from members of the Orthodox clergy. Kourounis adds to this list another under-researched issue: the impact of Golden Dawn on the mainstream right-wing party New Democracy. Psephologist Ilias Nikolakopoulos stresses that Golden Dawn’s rhetoric centered on the Greek civil war was targeting the center-right New Democracy, the ruling party at the time, and not the left-wing opposition party Syriza as is widely perceived. The reason for this is that Golden Dawn could come second only if New Democracy failed in the subsequent general election. New Democracy, at the same time, responded to Golden Dawn’s criticism by shifting its rhetoric regarding immigration policy to the extreme right. The film discusses Golden Dawn’s populist strategies, such as its “social policies,” which involve the distribution of food, or blood donations exclusively for Greeks. Kourounis also shows how Golden Dawners use violence as a political strategy. She films high-ranking members’ insults on camera; its spokesman beating left-wing MPs on live TV and attacking reporters; its members assaulting a theater for putting on a play that they deem inappropriate; and activists’ aggression during public events such as in Meligalas, when one of them attacked Kourounis for filming. The filming was done in Athens in the spring of 2014, when Golden Dawn was preparing for both regional and European elections. By that time, dozens of Golden Dawn members and MPs, including its leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, had been arrested after the assassination of the musician Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013. Charges against them range from attempted murder and assault to a creation of a criminal organization. At the time of writing, the trial of 69 defendants is still ongoing. As Kourounis notes, the incarceration of its leaders was turned into an asset. At Golden Dawn’s pre-electoral gatherings, Mihaloliakos addresses his supporters from jail by telephone as a martyr and a hero. In presenting the story of Golden Dawn’s rise, Kourounis unravels different life-stories that are closely intertwined with the story of the party: the rise of a regional leader, a perspective of a female party member, a take on the events from an ex-member, comments from a non-ideological affiliated voter, words of a victim of the party’s, an interview with an anti-fascist, a take on the story by a foreigner. The documentary’s central figure is Harris, the organization’s local leader in the Alimos district, a wealthy suburb in southern Athens. Harris strives to show that he is an educated man who loves history, who has done charity work in Africa, who is a true patriot. However, in a twist of fate, Harris forgets that he is wearing a microphone at some point and is recorded instructing his companions that were going to be interviewed: “We are not racists, we are nationalists,” “History will judge the holocaust and will show what is real and what is not,” and “You will remain moderate, but without betraying our principles.” Harris was elected to the municipal council in May 2014. Since the time that Kourounis’ documentary was filmed, Golden Dawn has been established as the third largest political party in Greece. A high percentage of Greeks believe in Golden Dawn and mistrust “the system,” despite the fact that, in Kourounis’ words, “Golden Dawn never hid its ideas.” And Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair is one of the most comprehensive documentaries that recounts how this came to be. Sofia Tipaldou http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6165-7714 […] Read more…
Victor Fraga / DirtyMovies.org (31/05/2016)May 31, 2016Review published on dirtymovies.org Can you be impartial when your family integrity is at stake? Documentary investigates the rise of the far-right in Greece, police complacency and the implications for foreigners and for liberal activists living in the Balkan nation. Partiality is central to journalism. Even if you have strong ideological convictions and political affiliations, you should report facts from an unbiased and neutral perspective – or at least to pretend to do so – for the sake of credibility. Journalist and filmmaker Angélique Kourounis entirely shuns this principle when doing the documentary Golden Dawn: a Personal Affair. She establishes in the beginning of the movie: “how can you stay impartial, when your husband is a Jew, one of your sons is gay, the other one is an anarchist and you are a left-wing feminist and the daughter of immigrants” – all of these groups are despised by the deeply racist Greek far-right party Golden Dawn, the subject of the movie. The extensive material, reaching a total of a 100 hours of video and audio, on which the film is based, is the byproduct of Kourounis’ survey and research into Greek far-right politics over the course of five years. The international media have often described Golden Dawn as a neo-Nazi and fascist party, though the group rejects these labels. Leading members have expressed admiration of the former Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas and of Hitler. They have also made use of Nazi symbolism, and their logo is strangely similar to a swastika. They are openly nationalistic and firm believers of Hellenism (a belief in Greek superiority: a party member cries out “Greece will cover the earth”), but they attempt to deny racism and xenophobia. A party member who was an aid volunteer in Africa explains the twisted rationale: “I like foreigners, I even help them, as long as they don’t come here”. Before the economic crisis, Golden Dawn was just a small cult, with less than 0.2% of the vote. They have since seized the opportunity to donate food and blood to the poor under one condition: they must prove that they are Greek by showing their ID. This apparent Samaritanism combined with an inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric catapulted Golden Dawn to parliament, where they currently hold 17 seats, and are the third political in the country. They believe that the right-wing party New Democracy (the second largest in the country) has failed the nation, and that soon Golden Dawn will overtake them. Golden Dawn uses both verbal and physical violence in order to get their message across. Most of their members are loud and boisterous, and they have attacked and killed both Greeks and foreigners – most notoriously the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. Many of their members, including their leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, were consequently arrested. Once again, Golden Dawn seized the opportunity and played the victim card, thereby energising their membership and increasing their popularity. The film makes some very concerning revelations: the Greek media has kept their silence and mostly refuse to denounce these violent crimes of Golden Dawn. The police are strangely complacent: they even arrested an Afghani victim instead of helping him claiming that the man was drunk. Korounis makes the bold assertion that Golden Dawn “lend a right hand” to the police by carrying out the dirty work that they do not want to perform. The movie also investigates the dark past of the party, when leading members proudly boasted pictures of Hitler. Many Nazi values are still compatible with the party, such as the racism, the hierarchical structure and the use of classic Goebbels’ tactics of deception in public discourse. Their modern members dismiss Nazism as German, but they are not afraid of translating the ideology and values to the Greek sphere. Despite setting out to be a “personal affair”, this movie fails to tell a personal story. Apart from the claim in the beginning of the movie, Korounis does not explain how the rise of Golden Dawn could affect her. We never learn where the director and her family live – even whether they are in Greece. Instead, the film feels like a straight-forward piece of investigative journalism. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was supported by Reporters Without Borders. Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair is currently being exhibited in film festivals across Europe and the world. […] Read more…
in.gr (Angeliki Stellaki – 18/03/2016)April 16, 2016In one of the most talked about documentaries at the 18th Thessaloniki Film Festival, Angelique Kourounis tries to understand what is in the mind of the Golden Dawn supporter next door. And her report is shocking and worrying. “How can one be impartial in my place? My partner in life is Jewish, one of my sons is gay, the other is an anarchist and I am a left wing feminist, the daughter of immigrants. If Golden Dawn comes to power, our only problem will be which wagon to put us on.” From the start of the documentary, the director (and correspondent for several French media outlets, such as TV5 Monde), clarifies why -as the title of the documentary states; Golden Dawn isn’t just something to concern us all, but for her is also a “personal affair’. For years the journalist has been going to Golden Dawn demonstrations (Kourounis insists that we should be calling it a neo-Nazi party), entering the homes of supporters of the organization and attending local meetings, trying to determine how its members and voters think, and why support for the party has been growing. Among other things, she confirms the relationship of George Roupakias, the killer of Pavlos Fyssas, with the leadership of Golden Dawn (her camera records him multiple times at rallies), highlights the connection of Golden Dawn with Nazism, and the racist views hiding under the guise of “nationalism.” She also visits the houses of members and voters of Golden Dawn, talking to them, and trying to understand. From elderly people who have nothing to eat and go to soup kitchens “only for Greeks,” even though they declare themselves Left, to people who believe that Greece is exempt from political discourse and others who have in their libraries copies of “Mein Kampf” by Hitler, who declare that they have helped children in Africa, but argue that they should not come here “to dilute our colour.” Speaking after the screening of the documentary, Angelique Kourounis admitted that it was not at all easy to make, but notes that “personal resistance was necessary, because resistance is a way of life.” She insists that after the results of the German local elections -where the xenophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) won unprecedented votes, “entering” the Regional Assemblies and the three federal states where polls were held – this resistance is necessary. She also says that she never lied about what she wanted to do. She never said she wanted to make a documentary for Golden Dawn, “I told them that I wanted to figure out what they think, and that is what I did,” she says. She notes that she would be lying if she said that she wasn’t afraid, but insists that “you cannot let fear defeat you, because then you lose.” [Translated from Greek] […] Read more…
Euronews (Giorgos Mitropoulos – 16/3/2016)April 16, 201618th Thessaloniki Film Festival: Golden Dawn under the microscope of Angelique Kourounis Angelique Kourounis’ “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” has provoked several discussions at this year’s documentary film festival, capturing in sharp detail the phenomenon of Golden Dawn in Greece through interviews with supporters and party leaders. Her intention in this, her third film is to show us what is in the mind of the Golden Dawn supporter next door, and to show us that the monster of fascism is growing more gigantic daily every day in front of our eyes. It helps us to realize that this is indeed a personal affair that affects all of us. The director and journalist-correspondent for several French media outlets has been following for years not only marches and party rallies, but also speeches, recording everything with the camera, but also with her phone if necessary, with the agreement of the party. The documentary, among other things, shows the relationship of George Roupakias, the killer of Pavlos Fyssas, with the leadership of the party and shows the close relationship of Golden Dawn with Nazism. It shows the manipulation of the middle classes, who are unable to make ends meet because of the crisis, as well as recording Golden Dawn’s assault squads and the relationship of the organization with the police, but also to criminal activity. So why is this a personal affair for her, and why is she risking this confrontation with fascism? “My partner in life is Jewish, one of my sons is gay and the other an anarchist and I am a left wing feminist, the daughter of immigrants. If Golden Dawn comes to power our only problem will be which wagon to put us on” she explains in our interview. See what Angelique Kourounis told us in the video below: [Original text and video in Greek] […] Read more…
Exostispress (Greece – 16/3/2016)April 16, 2016By Sotiria Papantoniou Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair – What’s in the mind of the neo-Nazi next door? Angélique Kourounis’ documentary about the existence and the rise of nationalist party Golden Dawn is indeed a personal affair, but one which affects us all as citizens of the country and as citizens of the world. From the outset, the title of the film clearly indicates that the barrier of absolute objectivity is broken, as the director and journalist/creator relates the phenomenon to a personal level, but of course without denying its social dimensions. The main question the film sets out to answer is what attracts supporters of the party – from the unemployed youth to the affluent middle aged – to this sometimes politically weak party. Clearly, the project explores in depth the recent and rapid rise of the party in formal politics, as well as the attitude of the media and the authorities towards the party, with certain revelations that even the very informed may be unaware of. Initially, it should be noted that the documentary brings together evidence that could be likened to a comprehensive political reportage. From the beginning to the end of the film the commentary of the creator is omnipresent, and her voice often explains the image and the unfolding events being shown. At the same time, the voice over is followed by the evocative theme music; and documentary evidence that demonstrates its journalistic basis. In several places this type of journalistic explanation seems redundant – the images are highly revealing, they do not need any further clarification. On the other hand, the commentary together with the images helps the viewer from the first moment to create a picture of the aggressiveness of the Golden Dawn, so that in many places throughout the movie viewers can laugh and feel mutual indignation at the illogical words and actions of its followers. Indeed, the images are very strong, as they involve as well as material that has already been disclosed by television channels, additional material that is disclosed for the first time. The director has been able to investigate the far-right Party for many years, since the beginning of the crisis in Greece up until the current day, and there are references to their initial appearance, when members did not hesitate to express clearly their neo-Nazi core and their fascist ideology. Material from that period shows the party leader giving a speech in front of a flag with a Nazi swastika, and the testimony of a former member of the organization confirms its racist ideology, which led to physical attacks on people with contrasting views. Today, the party functionaries know much better how to protect themselves. Alongside the historical background, we watch the attitude of the authorities towards the phenomenon of Golden Dawn. Perhaps unsurprisingly to most, the police, courts, clergy and executive seem to react positively or even in a friendly way to the organization, maybe as a result of  passive inertia, and without a sincere and coordinated effort at repression. Certainly there are exceptions, which, however, prove the rule; priests involved in the blessing of the new offices of the party; police officers that did not intervene while witnessing violence against immigrants; a government that takes action belatedly, a court that acquits and releases offenders. And here arises an important question which the film seeks to answer; Are there any causes leading people to support a party that, to put it mildly, smells of fascism? Certainly, the financial crisis, the perversion of the ideals of home and family, xenophobia, unemployment and poverty are meaningful reasons, as evidenced by interviews and the observation of party supporters, but also scientists, journalists and researchers. Of course, whether or not this response can be justified is another story. In conclusion, the documentary explores in depth the organization, its ideology, the “logic” of its voters and the reasons for the party’s rise, which clearly we have to look at, regardless of political beliefs. Maybe more of us should be watching how many of those who, fearful of the bleak future of the country, have placed their hopes in Golden Dawn, in a party that declares its solidarity with the distribution of food and donations – of course only to Greek citizens, but behind its glittering  façade hides something rotten and dangerous. Let’s not forget, moreover, that it continues to be the third biggest party in the Greek parliament. It becomes our duty, then, to reflect on our own responsibility for our tolerance for the incubation of this phenomenon. Because Golden Dawn is a personal matter for us all. [Translated from Greek] […] Read more…
MOVE IT / A.K. (Greece – 16/03/2016)April 1, 2016The journalist Angelique Kourounis (best known for her work in French in mediums such as Charlie Hebdo, TV5 Monde, Group Radio France), and a Greek resident since 1985, presented at this year’s Documentary Festival of Thessaloniki the film “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” dealing with the rise of the Greek fascist party. With regard to what motivated her to make this documentary, she said: “I have had an obsession with the fascist movements and totalitarian regimes for years. I grew up in a family where it was my grandmother who started the stone throwing against the Italians in Kalymnos, whilst my father in law was a member of the French resistance; he preferred to take up arms rather than to wear the yellow star. My partner is Jewish, my son is gay. I am a feminist, and a daughter of immigrants. When I returned to Greece I immediately became interested in the case of Golden Dawn. I could not understand how it is that this so-called political party existed, and how a well-known newspaper could circulate with racist headlines. I could not understand how in Greece, which paid such a heavy price during the Occupation, that this party could exist openly since 1996. I also wanted to understand how Golden Dawners think, but also why there are two categories amongst their supporters: those who genuinely espouse GD beliefs, and those who voted for them because of the crisis. “ Asked about the political developments in Europe and the rise of far-right parties, the director replied: “I work in the magazine Charlie Hebdo, and from the beginning we knew that if these people and those that think like them seize power, exile and persecution would follow for some categories of the population, which is why we started collecting signatures for a ban of the French nationalist party. I am worried about the rise of the far right because they are a threat to democracy, which perhaps is not the best system, but it is what we have. There is no counterweight to the extreme right, on the contrary we see their ideas being adopted by Europe, with no one reacting. On the refugee issue, we have adopted extremist views and we’re losing the concepts of asylum, human rights and equality, which should be the basis of Europe. In 2017 in the second round of presidential elections in France we will probably have as frontrunner rivals Le Pen and Hollande. In this case, the vote should be “No to Le Pen. “ English translation from the original (in Greek) […] Read more…
ekathimerini.com (Greece – 03/03/2016)March 4, 2016Local offerings at the 18th Thessaloniki doc fest Angelique Kourounis’s latest documentary on Golden Dawn, Greece’s infamous neo-Nazi party, has an inevitable existential quality: “My partner in life is a Jew, one of my sons is gay, another is an anarchist and I am a left-wing feminist as well as a daughter of immigrants. If Golden Dawn comes to power our only problem will be which wagon they will put us on,” Kourounis says in the press announcement for “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair.” Based on a series of interviews conducted over the course of five years, the director, a veteran news correspondent for Greece and the Balkans, sets out to decipher the motives and agendas behind GD supporters. She soon finds out it’s not a straightforward exercise. “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” will be screened at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) starting March 11, as part of the Greek program, which this year features 72 feature and short films. Twenty-two of these productions have been included in the different sections of the International Program, while 50 are part of the Greek Panorama. True to form, this year’s crop raises a wide range of critical subjects including politics, human rights, the environment, art, as well as intriguing human interest stories. “Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War” by director Leonidas Vardaros draws on interviews and archival material to document the role of about 500 Greeks, mostly Cretans, in the landmark labor uprising against coal mining companies in south Colorado between 1913-14. The confrontation culminated in a bloody clampdown in April 1914, known as the Ludlow Massacre, after the Colorado national guard raided a tent colony inhabited by more than 1,200 miners and their families, leaving an estimated 20 people dead. In “The Longest Run,” director Marianna Economou follows two underage immigrants detained in a Greek jail pending trial on charges of illegal trafficking. With unparalleled access to the juvenile prison and courtroom, Economou exposes the cases of young people who are forced by criminal rings to smuggle undocumented migrants into Europe. Other films in the Greek section include Haris Raftogiannis’s “True Blue,” which follows an elderly couple on Icaria, the idiosyncratic eastern Aegean island whose under-10,000 residents live famously long and healthful lives, and “Next Stop: Utopia,” by Apostolos Karakasis, about the efforts of a group of fired workers at a building materials factory in Thessaloniki to turn the closed-down business into a cooperative. The festival, now in its 18th year, runs March 11-20, at Thessaloniki’s port warehouse complex and the Olympion movie theater. For more on the festival, log on to www.filmfestival.gr. […] Read more…
Broadly – Vice (online – 23/02/2016)February 27, 2016Interview with Julie Tomlin, published on Vice’s Broadly [note: with a somewhat exaggerated title chosen by the website’s editor that we think does not represent the actual content] How One Filmmaker Infiltrated a Notorious Neo-Nazi Movement For Five Years ‘Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair’ director Angélique Kourounis spent years tailing the Greek neo-Nazi political party that hates women and loves violence. She tells Broadly what she learned about Europe’s scariest far-right group. Why has the neo-Nazi far-right party Golden Dawn been winning support in Greece since the start of the 2009 financial crisis? A total of 69 of its members, including MPs, are on trial for running a criminal organisation that intimidates and kills immigrants and its political opponents, but it still went on to win 18 seats in last year’s national elections. Opponents hoped that the tide might turn against them when one of its MPs was charged with assault for slapping a female politician during a TV debate, but they were disappointed. Its surge in popularity did not stop even when party leader Nikolaos Michaloliako said Golden Dawn was “politically responsible” for the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. Obsessed with finding out why so many Greeks support it, Angélique Kourounis spent five years filming Golden Dawners with her colleague Thomas Iacobi. I spoke to Angelique about the hundreds of hours she spent filming Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair and her determination to find out what makes the party tick. Broadly: What did you achieve by devoting so much time to this project? You couldn’t do a film about Golden Dawn in a short space of time because they wouldn’t accept you. They would only show you what they wanted you to see. We filmed on food distribution runs and blood distribution runs, at press meetings, political meetings, meetings of local cells, where people meet twice weekly—some were in wealthy areas in Athens like Alimos and Glyfada—and while they were filming and working on radio and online. What kind of people did you discover are members of Golden Dawn? I met jobless people, rich people, middle class people; this is not a class party, it drags in people in from everywhere. There were three women I met, one of them was leftist, one was socialist, and the other one was conservative and they all decided to join Golden Dawn in 2012 because they had no trust in other parties. To be honest, there was a moment I was in doubt. I was in a meeting and everyone I had spoken to seemed so reasonable. I said to myself: Where is the Golden Dawn I thought I knew, the one that is violent, has killed people? I thought maybe I was wrong. But then a guy who had forgotten that he still had a microphone attached started speaking and gave orders to the members of the local cell about how to behave, and what to tell me when they were interviewed. And then I realised I wasn’t wrong: Golden Dawn is Golden Dawn, the one I knew. I’d say they are Nazis, or the direction is absolutely Nazi—and they are perfect racists and sexists. One man I interviewed said he helped the black people when they were in Africa as military with the UN, but only to make the black people stay there, not to come to his country and change its color. What about sexism in the party? I spent a lot of time with women from Golden Dawn and there are women involved in leadership, but it’s absolutely true to say that men take priority and the top positions are always given to men. Everyone was delighted when Ilias Kasidiaris slapped Lianna Kannelli on TV, they thought she deserved it. Women’s place, from their point of view, is that we just have to go back to the kitchen and open our legs for making children. What was incredible was that the women absolutely agree that women mustn’t work and believe that the state has to provide them a salary to raise their kids. Were you ever afraid? We were always afraid, mostly after the second documentary was aired in June 2014—because if they had seen it, we were done for. Anyway, we had cameras broken and one day I was attacked—it was at the point of being very bad, but Golden Dawn’s deputy Nikos Mihos intervened, saying to them to stop beating me and trying to take my cell phone. Which I think he might now regret. Most of the time we were OK: Thomas, who is German, blond, and good looking, was the good guy, the one Golden Dawn members told they had something in common with. I was the stupid, silly, small, fat girl who they didn’t pay much attention to. At one of their rallies Thomas and the cameraman were sent far away from the action, and I was allowed to be at the front with my small camera phone, a silly girl who was still discovering the world. This way we got the pictures we have. What is their attitude towards the media? At first Golden Dawn was a very presentable party, and Kasidiaris was invited on morning TV and asked about the last movie he had seen, that kind of thing. We knew what this guy was, but if was only after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas that the media started to say Golden Dawn were trouble. It was too much after years and years of silence. I had thought it would be the end for the party, but the result was the exact opposite. That’s probably because Greeks don’t believe the media any more, and Golden Dawn believers don’t trust anything they say. On the other hand, their radio and online operation is very important to them. Whatever they do, they put it immediately on the web to show what they are doing, like Daesh. Golden Dawn blocked the border with Albania for two hours, they shoot it and put it on the web. When they destroy the stalls of the immigrants, they put it on the web. They want to show that they act. And it works. What do you think Golden Dawn’s game plan is now? They are waiting for their time. I think that was the truth that I was looking for when I started filming. The last shot in the movie is a key interviewee who says that once Syriza is in power, Golden Dawn will be next. All the movie was the demonstration of that. What are your fears if Golden Dawn continues to gain support in Greece? To me it’s quite straightforward: My partner in life is a Jew, one of my sons is gay, another is an anarchist, and I’m a left-wing feminist and a daughter of immigrants. If Golden Dawn comes to power, our only problem will be which wagon they will put us on. If people like Golden Dawn are in power the only response would be to stay and fight back, or leave. There is no place for free-thinking people, for people of the left, for gay people, for anti fascist people and this is perfectly shown in the movie. I grew up with stories of war and resistance from my grandmother against the Italians then I had the incredible privilege to meet my partner’s father, Leon, who was a Jew and part of the resistance in France. He explained to me that there was no other choice but resistance. You have to fight and resist, and if you don’t, you accept what’s happening. […] Read more…
Periódico Diagonal (Spain – 21/01/2016)February 20, 2016“La crisis por sí sola no explica el auge de Amanecer Dorado” Hablamos con la directora de ‘Golden Dawn: a personal affair’, trabajo que retrata al partido neonazi griego. Ter García 21/01/16 · 8:00 Amanecer Dorado nunca ocultó su ideología de corte neonazi. A pesar de ello, desde 2012 es el tercer partido de Grecia en número de votos. ¿Por qué? La periodista Angélique Kourounis, corresponsal de varios medios de comunicación franceses, entre los que se encuentra la revista satírica Charlie Hebdo, ha trabajado durante años para dar respuesta a esta pregunta, asistiendo a las asambleas y reuniones de este partido político. Como resultado, el documental Golden Dawn: a personal affair, actualmente en fase de postproducción y para el que se ha lanzado una campaña de micromecenazgo. El documental surge de una experiencia personal, tras varios años analizando al partido Amanecer Dorado. ¿Qué te motivó a comenzar este trabajo? Comencé por instinto, por necesidad y por miedo. Inicialmente, por supuesto, fue por necesidad, porque como corresponsal tenía que cubrir la noticia. Tenía que dar cuenta de la realidad griega a los medios de comunicación con los que trabajaba. Después, por otro lado, estaban el terror por lo que el partido Amanecer Dorado representa; y la ira, porque todos los gobiernos les han dejado hacer. Mi propia historia personal y familiar se ha visto afectada por los nazis. Pero independientemente de esto, el nazismo y los campamentos son temas que me obsesionan. Y ver que 60 años después, cuando sabemos lo que pasó , la gente es capaz de enviar conscientemente al Parlamento a 18 diputados nazis en mi país era algo que tenía que descifrar y entender. ¿Por qué ? La crisis no lo explica todo. Yo no quería hacer sólo un reportaje o un artículo sobre este problema, sino profundizar y entenderlo, o al menos intentarlo. Para hacer tu investigación estuviste acudiendo a asambleas y reuniones de Amanecer Dorado durante varios años, ¿cómo lo hiciste? ¿Tuviste algún problema? No estuve infiltrada. Nunca les oculté que era periodista. Y en ningún momento hice que creyeran que yo era uno de ellos. En todo momento dije que estaba haciendo una película sobre ellos con el objetivo de mostrar la realidad, fuera cual fuera. Y la realidad es que el partido Amanecer Dorado es la tercera fuerza política desde hace cuatro años. Que la gente, entonces, sabe que la violencia es su arma política, que el racismo es su leitmotiv y el nazismo su referencia, y aun así los envía al Parlamento. Cerrar los ojos ante esta realidad no sirve de nada, hay que entenderlo. Después de estos años profundizando en cómo funciona Amanecer Dorado, ¿qué conclusión has sacado? Se ha confirmado mi percepción sobre el partido. Amanecer Dorado es un partido político racista, neonazi, sexista, que utiliza las debilidades del sistema democrático para alcanzar el poder. Después de estos años de investigación siento un poco de pena por mucha gente común que les apoya, como Stella, una mujer mayor, pobre y con poca formación, que perdió hace poco a su marido y tiene a su cargo a varias personas dependientes. Es difícil culparla si, para ella, Amanecer Dorado es una bolsa de comestibles. No siento ninguna pena por otras personas como Konstantina, la mujer rubia que afirma que “si existieron los hornos, no somos nosotros los responsables” o Haris, piloto retirado y el miembro de Amanecer Dorado con el que más tiempo hemos pasado. Ellos han tomado una decisión deliberada, con conocimiento de causa. También siento una inmensa ira hacia los poderes públicos que les han dejado hacer. A este respecto, me parece importante señalar que entre mayo y junio de 2012, cuando Amanecer Dorado llevó a cabo su incursión política en el Gobierno griego a través de laselecciones anticipadas, tanto todos los gobiernos como todos los líderes políticos europeos se precipitaron, bien cuando visitaban Grecia, bien cuando hacían declaraciones, como Angela Merkel, o cuando daban una entrevista en directo en los informativos más importantes de Grecia, como François Hollande, para recordar a los griegos que votaran bien, que votaran “europeo”. Ninguno de ellos dijo “no votéis neonazi” a pesar de que en la tarde del 12 de mayo Amanecer Dorado obtuvo un 7% de los votos y 18 diputados en el Parlamento. Como en el pasado, preferían negro a rojo. También quiero destacar que, tras el espectáculo en las Termópilas , en lo que pretendía ser una repetición en su versión local de la ceremonia de Nuremberg, tuve sudores fríos, volví vacía, atónita, muy inquieta. El juicio contra algunos miembros de Amanecer Dorado por el asesinato de Pavlos Fyssas ha vuelto a ser retrasado recientemente, ¿tienes alguna valoración sobre cómo se está desarrollando? Es un juicio farsa, porque los que ordenaron el asesinato y los verdaderos culpables, sin duda, van a escapar y sólo responderán por los crímenes de Amanecer Dorado los ejecutores directos de este asesinato. Los cargos son extremadamente difíciles de probar, a pesar de toda la buena voluntad de la acusación. Este proceso tiene el mérito de existir, pero llega demasiado tarde. Espero estar equivocada, pero creo que, al final, será Amanecer Dorado el que salga beneficiado de este proceso. El asesino directo dePavlos Fyssas será condenado, pero Amanecer Dorado, en tanto que partido, se saldrá con la suya. Una vez más, espero que me equivoque y tener que disculparme públicamente, sería la primera en alegrarme por ello. ¿Cómo un partido político con varios de sus miembros acusados de graves cargos puede tener tanto apoyo en las elecciones? Esta democracia es un régimen frágil. Es muy imperfecta y muy vulnerable para toda persona con mala voluntad. Recuerda que Hitler no tomó el poder, fue elegido. La ley no impide que las personas que están en prisión preventiva –que están acusadas, no condenadas– ejerzan sus derechos políticos. Y si esas personas son diputados, como es el caso, pues continúan con su trabajo de diputados. Lo contrario sería impensable. Es por eso, entre otras cosas, por lo que la gente votó por ellos. Es muy confuso para muchas personas. Son muy peligrosos, pero continúan votando las leyes que nos rigen. Para muchos electores, los miembros de Amanecer Dorado que están encarcelados son mártires, víctimas de una conspiración mediática, y es que la mayoría de griegos no tiene ninguna confianza en sus medios de comunicación. Se cierra el círculo. Sobre todo porque la reacción para reequilibrar esta situación ha tardado mucho. Amanecer Dorado fue siempre un paso por delante. En las pasadas elecciones, algunos de los lugares en los que Amanecer Dorado alcanzó mejores resultados fueron Lesbos o Kos, algunas de las islas que reciben más personas que huyen de la guerra de Siria buscando refugio. ¿Se está viviendo una ola de racismo en Grecia? Amanecer Dorado es un partido racista y es evidente que su victoria en las elecciones está relacionada con el racismo. La crisis de migración que se vive actualmente y la manera en la que se está gestionando es un regalo para Amanecer Dorado. Es imposible responder, en condiciones decentes, a la llegada de miles de refugiados cada día siendo éste un país que vive una grave crisis económica y social. Hay que alimentar, dar atención médica, vestir y dar un espacio y calidez a esta gente. Algo que el Gobierno ya no es capaz de hacer con su propia población. Sería injusto limitar las poblaciones de Kos, Lesbos o cualquier otra isla a los resultados de Amanecer Dorado. Sin la ayuda constante que mantienen desde hace casi ya un año por parte de la población local, tendríamos que lamentar muchísimas muertes. Pero Amanecer Dorado apuesta a dos cosas: el agotamiento de la gente y la incoherencia de Europa. Ninguno de esos países de la Europa rica, civilizada y democrática quiere acoger a estas personas migrantes. Y sin embargo, siguen llegando. Hay una congestión, se encuentran atrapados en Grecia, en donde hay una población muy empobrecida, después de siete años de recesión, y en donde no se plantea ninguna estructura de acogida ni se aplica ninguna política de integración. El miedo hace el resto. ¿Alguna solución? Para hacer frente a esto hace falta una política europea coherente que aborde el problema en su origen: hacer que las personas no se vean obligadas a salir de sus países y, por tanto, detener las guerras, invertir y construir en sus países para que no tengan que buscar fuera una escuela, un hospital o un hogar para sus hijos. Por supuesto, hay que manejar la urgencia de las personas que llegan, pero también se necesita una política europa que no vaya dirigida únicamente a controlar las fronteras, sino a dar cabida y a aliviar a estas personas. […] Read more…