On the occasion of the “International Women’s Day” celebrated on March 8th a small tribute to a Woman ….. a leading figure…. who left her mark both as an actor and as a politician.
Sunday, March 6, 1994, melina left our life….. Maria Amalia Merkouri. The Greek woman who upset and moved the world. Foreign news agencies wrote at the time that the last Goddess of Greece had left…. lies because 20 years later the myth of the Greek Goddess is alive.
How can you forget Melina…… A woman’s passion flame fire. spark and power.
Her hoarse voice, her loud laughter, her exuberant personality, how to go unnoticed, conquered you from the first moment. The most anti-wired mouth the lens loved,
And yet there was a woman “METAXENIA” even though there was no ENZENI even when she was sixteen.
Cocteau and Colette wrote poems for her, and louis mal, john houston, maximilian shell and so many others wanted her to star.
She shared with Jeanne Moreau the Cannes Acting Award for her performance in “Never on Sunday” while for the same film, she was nominated for an Oscar for a first female role and lost it to Liz Taylor.
The speechless as they called her sang to Greta Garbo and made her cry. He released over 15 albums performing Xarchakos, Theodorakis, Tsitsani, Kurt Weil, Bertold Brecht, Hatzidakis, who with the film “Never on Sunday”, his song, performed by Melina, made him famous on an evening around the world, after winning the Oscar for best song.
The fateful woman wins the Isa Miranda performance award at the 1955 Cannes International Film Festival, but that night in a fateful encounter, as she said, she knows the love of her life, the American director Gilles Dassen. According to the story, Dassen will fall in love with her by lightning bolt and jump dozens of rows of chairs into the ceremony hall to meet her…… And she’s going to change her life eventually and finally. The American director became her mentor, her partner, a collaborator and together they made many films. Their first film was “Christ Re-Crossed” a cinematic transfer of Kazantzakis’s novel.
Medea, Phaedra, Clytamnestra, Anna of the Thousand Days, in the cinema, Blanche Dubois in the theatre, muse of Marcel Assar in the French Theatre Stage.
When the April 21 coup took place, he was playing “Ilya Darling” on Broadway, and on his way out of the theater, he ran into the cameras crying.
She fought against the junta of the colonels, and they removed her Greek citizenship and seized her property in Greece. When Melina is informed of the junta’s decision she makes the historic statement: “I was born Greek and I will die Greek. Pattakos was born a fascist and will die a fascist.
With interviews, concerts, recordings, hunger strikes and political events, Melina is a permanent problem for the junta, which attempts to assassinate it in various ways without success.
How can you forget Melina… No cry will ever be as loud as hers, from Stella to Elginia.
She had pinned down the BBC journalist who asked her if Greece could safely guard Elginia, replying:
“Sweet boy, I only know the Parthenon Marbles. Elgin, your ancestor, I only know him as a thief. So we can’t talk about the same thing. If, in any case, you mean the Parthenon Marbles, I’ll answer you.
No, sweet boy, (he used that phrase) we can’t protect them. We Greeks are primitive. We still live in caves and eat raw meat with our hands…”.
“If you ask me if I will live when the Parthenon Marbles return to Greece, I tell you that yes, I will live. But even if I don’t live anymore, I’ll be reborn.”
Melina said that power never felt like a Minister, but as a star of Broadway and Hollywood. During her tenure as Minister of Culture, she established the institution DI.PE.THE. The New Acropolis Museum was her idea that she didn’t have time to complete. He gave great importance to the introduction of culture and the course of theatrical education in schools and the
institution of the Capital of Culture was established by it.
He constantly stressed that “the heavy industry of the country is culture” and was fighting for its promote abroad and at home.
On March 6, 1994, her body came from the Memorial of New York and was put on a two-day folk pilgrimage and a three-day national mourning. The international press had detailed tributes to the life of the lively woman while on Broadway the theatres remained closed while more than a million Greeks accompanied her to her last residence, in the 1st Cemetery of Athens.
She was the first Greek woman to be buried with the honors of head of state.