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Angeliki Antoniou, "EDUART"

The director on EDUART

FROM REALITY... TO "EDUART"

Five years ago, when I came into Eduart's adventure I had no doubt that I was confronting a "burning" issue, as the protagonist of the story was another Albanian who had committed a crime, another Albanian whose story was neglected by the people of my own country.

However, the power of his story exceeded his nationality. The adventure and drama he lived was beyond all borders, languages, religions and political status.

This film does not negotiate racism or the lack of tolerance towards immigrants. It is about the drama of a Man. It is Eduart's trail from hell to purgatory, to heaven and purification. At the end of the film, EDUART dares to cry his guilt and retrieve his lost innocence.

The idea and the beginning of the film

In January 2002 I came across an extensive newspaper article. "A young illegal immigrant crosses the Greek-Albanian border and surrenders himself to the Greek authorities, confessing a murder he had committed a year ago in Athens".

Over the next few days I was haunted by this extraordinary fact. I asked criminal lawyers and district attorneys what could be hiding behind his voluntary confession. Everybody I asked agreed that something of this sort is unique and has rarely taken place in the history of criminology: Such an incident could occur once every fifty years or perhaps once in a century.

I tried to find out where Eduart was imprisoned. He was provisionally detained in prison in the Korydallos Detention Centre. After four months I managed to get hold of a permission to visit him by the ministry of Justice.

When the moment of our meeting arrived, the idea of my coming face to face with a murderer made me recoil with a shudder. I used up my entire energy in the course of the interview trying to hide my negative feelings. After many interviews, some of my reservations, fears and hesitations were dispelled.

Seeking the truth...

After six months I visited for the first time the place Eduart grew up and managed to talk with his sister and other people who knew him. I wanted to make sure that Eduart's change of heart was genuine. Perhaps I was also lacking in faith as regards such a disarming act. For a whole year, I checked and double checked facts, interviews and carried out an investigation that bordered on reportage.

After a year of interviews and circumstantial investigation my opinion changed. There was not a monster standing in front of me but a young man who was fully aware of the seriousness and the guilt of his action and felt deep remorse for what he had committed.

My own change and my own true

In the course of our last meeting he reassured me that I can write whatever I want about him in the script. "I was a wicked man". He never asked for a financial reward for the revelatory interviews he gave me, he does not think he is somewhat special because of his deed and neither does he feel that something special will happen in the event of turning his life into a film.

I no longer feel fear, pity or sorrow for Eduart. I just respect him for his personal transformation.

Angeliki Antoniou

 

Eshref Durmishi's Note

He was a cruel corrupted man. Like Faust sold his soul to devil. He took a human life. When he regretted he had nothing to return. And he returned... himself...

I had just finished my studies when Angeliki Antoniou chose to audition me for the part of Eduart. I knew the audition had started a year ago and continued in Prishtina, Skopje, Tetovo and Tirana. Two weeks later, she called to congratulate me by saying "congratulations, you are Eduart".

As soon as I read the scenario, I fell in love with the story and Eduart's character. Along with the character grew the challenge and the responsibility of this role, which was not easy at all to interpret, especially the way the director wanted. Throughout the story, Eduart goes through many different situations. I can easily say that he goes through "HELL", but with the work we did together with Angeliki during the whole shooting I believe we managed to create the EDUART we liked.

The story developed in the movie is touching, even more because it is based on true facts. I even cried for the real Eduart and I hope to meet him one day. I believe the audience will love the film, because everyone can find a piece of themselves in the characters played.

Eshref Durmishi

 

Juergen Juerges note

The most important thing in direction of photography is not the pose of the equipment but the atmosphere which has to be created. This can only be realized through a healthy collaboration between the director and the director of photography.

Working with Angeliki Antoniou was a great pleasure for me because I saw that she didn't only accept me as a partner but she also knew how to tap my skills for the films interest. Angeliki had this vision in her mind and asked me to help her in order to illustrate all her thoughts. Everything happened within the procedure of dialogue and exchanging aspects.

If there is something I don't like in American cinema it is that everything happens with great concern, as if there are specific rules that have to be followed and the creator is forbade to come out of. Fortunately, European cinema is more open to ideas, liberty of expression and finally to the aesthetic result.

I have felt this way in the past by working with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. I have felt the same working for EDUART. I wish him a nice trip.

Juergen Juerges