“My Little Greek Godfather” A Sarcastic Political Farce

My experience with Greek Comedic films is that there is a farcical element to them. In “My Little Greek Godfather” politics are mercilessly lampooned along with several Greek traditions.

The President of Greece for the “Democracy Party” is facing a crucial election and the race is tight on the Greek Island of Crete. In Greece there is a bit of cultural rivalry between the Islanders and the Mainlanders. Crete may even have its own special category of fierce warriors and devout pride of Cretan independence asserted against the Ottoman Turks then the fierce resistance against the German occupiers in the Second World War.

Well there is an important baptism going on in Crete and the candidate for Democracy is Lefteris Panagakis. Panagakis thinks he needs 150 votes to win his seat. So he must win over two families to Democracy.

The President simply can’t make the baptism so he sends Alex his 12-year-old son who being born and schooled in America speaks a weak Greek. As Panagakis says for every Greek word he gets right he gets three wrong,

Panagakis might be insulted with being sent this 12-year-old boy but on he goes schooling Alex with what to say. If they want roads say you’ll give the road. If they want to stop the goat thievery Democracy can deliver and really promise them everything. And by God eat everything they offer you! A hugely funny scene when a plate of sails is passed around in a sauce that has been cooking for three days. Poor Alex. As one lady at the reception says Alex is what happens when a Greek and a foreigner (xenos) mate.

Well before the baptism Alex heads up into the hills and a rumour circulates he has been kidnapped so the two families arm with rifles and discover he is up in the hills investigating. Panagakis says Alex was indeed stolen but by the beauty of Crete. A quick thinker. And the incident unites the two families behind Panagakis.

The baptism comes and let me tell you baptisms are extremely important in Greek culture! A speech is to be delivered by Alex but not the preprepared one but rather a few sentences from the heart finished off by Panagakis’ son, Panos, who is the same age as Alex and somewhat bullied by his father.

The trip goes well and this farce would be a great family movie. The courage of Alex in undertaking the mission is immense and he carries it off well. It might be a bit reminiscent of “Home Alone” as both Kevin in that film and Alex in this film are facing the world alone.

This is not a movie you’ll be laughing up a storm but you may have a smirk on your face at the end.

Filmed in Crete so be prepared for beautiful scenery.

Now if you know about Greek politics you might know Andreas Papandreou a three term Prime Minister exiled from Greece to the United States by the Papadopoulos junta in 1967. His father before him George Papandreou was also a Prime Minister. Andreas divorced his Greek wife and married an American who bore him children who were more American than Greek. Papandreou did return to Greece in 1971 serving three terms as Prime Minister. One gets the sense that Alex may be heading for high political office and that the film is a gentle barb against the late Andreas Papandreou. You can see my review of a documentary on Papandreou here https://setthebarlifestyle.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/searching-for-andreas-political-leadership-in-times-of-crisis-the-complicated-nature-of-greek-politics/?fbclid=IwAR2E00N3iWrkvgH91WogAfbIKXZadwhNsYvPicIZCHl3AJB2liIV6qQ1MAM

You can watch the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330_ePQxaoI

This 2007 film is 86 minutes long as is in Greek with English subtitles. The cast is magnificent although playing on stereotypes in an amusing way.

Part of the Hellenic Film Society of USA’s “Always on Sunday On Demand. It runs from April 4th-May 1st. You’ll have to go to their website to buy tickets https://hellenicfilmusa.org/

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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