It’s famous for democracy, philosophy, and heart-healthy cuisine. Plus, it’s a great place to produce a movie.

The New York Greek Film Expo is currently showing comedies, dramas, and documentaries at cinemas in Queens, Manhattan, and Nassau County. This is the festival’s second year, and the nine selections reflect Greek and Greek-American experiences with works that explore current political and social transitions, the lives of cultural icons, and women’s issues. Plus, there’s a love story set during the Greek War of Independence. (The dialogue is in Greek with English subtitles.)

The Museum of the Moving Image, which is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, is part of the fun with four showings this weekend. Here’s the Queens schedule.

Her Job(May 9, 7 p.m.) follows an oppressed housewife who gets her first-ever paying job as a cleaning woman at a shopping mall. Amid the country’s economic turmoil, she finds empowerment and self-worth. Director Nikos Labot will be in attendance.

Refuge II: The Ice Path(May 11, 2 p.m.) is a thriller about four friends on a camping trip. One is injured in an accident, and they seek shelter in what they think is an abandoned house. They soon learn about the evil within the walls.

Holy Boom(May 11, 4:30 p.m.) follows four strangers in the same diverse Athens neighborhood. Their lives are upended when, on Palm Sunday, a teenager bombs a local mailbox, destroying documents of vital importance to each of them.

Last Song to Xenitia”(May 11, 7 p.m.) depicts folk poet Vasiliki Papachristou Skoutela, who left her native village in Epirus in the 1930s for a better life in the United States, but never stopped singing traditional music. At age 103, she returns to Greece to find a country in crisis with many residents trying to leave. Legendary crooner Lakis Halkias, who hails from a famous musical family from Epirus, makes an appearance.

Other selections include “A Fine Line,” a documentary on women-run restaurants in the U.S.; “Kazantzakis,” a dramatic recounting of writer Nikos Kazantzakis, who created Zorba the Greek; and “Maria By Callas,” which chronicles the famous opera singer’s life through performances, TV interviews, home movies, photographs, letters, and unpublished memoirs.

The New York Greek Film Expo is produced by the Hellenic Film Society USA. In total, there are 16 screenings and a few other events, such as receptions and a panel discussion. The Directors Guild Theater (110 W 57th St. in Manhattan) and Bow Tie Manhasset Cinema (430 Plandome Rd. on Long Island) are the other participating venues.

Images: Hellenic Film Society USA


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