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The last shot of Michalis Kakogiannis

28 July 2011 / 22:07:02  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova 

Today Greece says farewell to one of its greatest artists. Michalis Kakogiannis, who with his work attracted the interest of the world community towards the country and raised it in its eyes was buried in the courtyard of the foundation that bears his name, as he wished when he was alive. 

Relatives, friends, artists, representatives of the Greek and Cypriot governments and ordinary citizens paid tribute to the famous director and actor. 

"Some lights never diminish. They just climb a little higher up, to glow more strongly. I believe Michalis Kakogiannis planted enough seeds in many young people and soon we see a worthy successor of his," said one of the most talented modern Greek actresses Pemi Zouni. 

Representative of the "golden" old films Nonika Galinea said that "the loss of old friends and associates made the loneliness even more unbearable. My sorrow is great because Michalis Kakogiannis was a significant and talented artist and person." 

"In a very difficult moment for our country we do not just say goodbye to a great artist, but to a great Greek. Michalis Kakogiannis was a great citizen of the world and had dedicated his life to his home countries, Greece and Cyprus. He lid Athens with his creativity, thought and soul. And I hope he will light the road of young people to who he was devoted," said a close friend of the director Anna Dallara. 

His colleague Manousos Manousakis identified the day as one of mourning throughout Greece."The man who transformed Greek cinema and made the country famous, left us. His art fills us with pride and this shows how much we need such people at this time. Mihalis Kakogiannis had a passion for knowledge and was a great teacher." 

The Minister of Education and Culture of Cyprus Andreas Dimitriou represented his country on the funeral service of the great artist. "We are here today to pay tribute to a great Greek whose life was closely connected with the great revival of Hellenism in the 50s and 60s of the 20th century. We hope to see many followers of his who will lead us to a new start." 

Greek Education Minister Anna Diamandopoulou used similar words to describe Michalis Kakogiannis. "Today we say goodbye to one of the biggest artists on the planet, who broke the borders of the country and took Greek culture to the other end of the world through his work in film, theater and opera. Led by the virtue of Zorbas, who determined the face of the Greek on international level, who does not cease to build and work in an open world. This is the message of today that we need to keep." 

Director Yiannis Smaragdis, who several years ago caused a sensation with his film "El Greco", said that art, unlike humans is not perishable. "Michalis Kakogiannis was a great person not only for cinema but for the entire Greek culture and Greece itself. And this is because with his films he managed to draw the attention of the world to Greece and make it a preferred destination. Kakogiannis is gone, but his live and eternal art will remain with us forever." 

"Today, Greece is not only saying goodbye to a great artist, but also to an optimist who believed in the possibilities of the country and supported it with his work in every difficult moment. His absence will be even greater today when we have a great need for such individuals," said the chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance Dora Bakoyannis. 

Actor Grigoris Valtinos described Mihalis Kakogiannis as a man who gave his country more than his debt ever could be. "Michalis Kakogiannis was a Greek, who not only fulfilled his duty to his country, but gave a lot more. He gave us international recognition, great moments in art and helped his country at every possible level. He managed to complete his last project, which is the foundation that bears his name and I want to believe he left happy." 

The burial service was also attended by composer Mikis Theodorakis, with whom Mihalis Kakogiannis reached the peak of his work. Dozens of wreaths were placed in front of the church from many of his colleagues such as Theodoros Angelopoulos, from the political leadership of Greece and Cyprus, from foundations, associates and friends. 

The family of the late director thanked the Greek government that it agreed the artist's funeral to be held on state charges, but donated the amount to the Ministry of Culture. 

Tags: Michalis Kakogiannis funeral Zorba the Greek Greece Cyprus
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