Take an alternative tour of these lesser-known cultural landmarks in Greece
Most people come to Athens to see its ancient ruins – the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Temple, the Roman Agora, etc. – but the truly seductive mysteries lurk within the city’s little-known modern ruins: relics of the Olympic Games, victims of the financial crisis or buildings which time just simply left behind.
British documentary producer Alex King envisioned Still, Moving: The Modern Ruins of Athens as an alternative sightseeing excursion across Greece’s suburban capital. Together with former Greek National Opera Ballet dancer Michael Doolan, they created an abstract narrative that venerates the modern history of one of the world’s most mystical cities.
Doolan’s masterful execution of progressive dance and free-flow movement breathes life into Athens’ ruined industrial spaces. As he explores the myths that surround their abandonment, the film’s evocative sound design, crafted by Costis Kontos, endows the grand steel frames of the former fertilizer factory with the same reverence as the marble columns of the Parthenon.
“Many of the places we shot in we had spotted while cycling around the city and noted down to come back and explore,” says King. “Little by little we pieced the film together through a number of dawn and sunset shooting trips.”
These locations also include a hilltop mansion, an isolated drive-in cinema, and the Tatoi Palace—a former royal residence from a bygone era of Greek history. “The stillness of these forgotten spaces seemed so surreal and alluring while the rest of the world continued on the rat race,” says King. “But now, we have become familiar with major cities around the world locked down and completely still. At times it has seemed like the whole world has become petrified and devoid of life, just like the ruins we shot in.”June 11, 2021