What does Europe mean for Greece today? What role does Germany, as the country with the strongest economy and as the biggest advocate and profiteer of Europe, play in the relationship between Greece and the EU? The documentary film Lala’s EUrope gives a personal insight into the life of a Greek family in Europe. We tell a European drama in three acts: crisis, hope, defeat. The film ends with the Greek elections in July 2019. What is the future for the family and Greece? No future, no hope?
On 20 August 2018, the EU's last bail-out package to Greece expired. While EU politicians celebrate the "end of the crisis", Lala’s EUrope will show why a bail-out program does not mean the end of the financial crisis. The austerity programs imposed by the Troika have changed Greece forever and will not come to an end any time soon. Half a million Greeks have emigrated since the beginning of the crisis and and their numbers are growing to this day. Among them is Katerina with her family. We follow our protagonists, four generations of one family, between Athens and Berlin. Taking the eurozone crisis as a point of departure, we show their hopes about the referendum 2015 and the following disillusionment and despair that came with the austerity policies of the Troika. In our film, we focus on the question of what role the EU and Germany played in the Greek debt crisis. Germany is viewed as the strongest state in the EU and Greece as the weakest. When the European debt crisis reached Greece in 2010, it was the German government in particular that imposed a rigid austerity policy on the country - as a condition of the largest "bail-out program" in the history of the EU. In the meantime, Greece's gross domestic product has fallen by 25% and unemployment has risen to 20%. All this was accompanied by an aggressive media campaign. While in Germany people were ranting against the lazy Greeks, whose wasteful lifestyle had to be financed by the hard-working German taxpayers, in Greece the image of the hard and heartless German regained popularity. The German outrage at the "Pleitegriechen" [broke Greeks] reached its media climax in 2015, when the left-wing Syriza party won the most votes in the parliamentary elections and formed a government that threatened not to do what the German-dominated EU had decreed for the country.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
We do not want to give up hope that the European Union can be more than its neoliberal, undemocratic, and, at present, increasingly right-wing political structure. But anyone who speaks about the EU wanting to defend its "European idea" must not remain silent about the undemocratic, inhuman policies it implements as well. It is urgently necessary to criticize right-wing nationalist tendencies, but such criticism should not be allowed to turn into blind affirmation of the EU. In this respect, our film addresses all those who think, want to think, or should think critically about the EU, without seeking an alternative in nationalism. By showing the personal experiences of Katerina and her family, the consequences of the EU’s political decisions become understandable for the individual person.
Why would you support this project?
Do you want to know what effects the Troika’s austerity policy has had on the lives of Greek citizens? What will happen to Katerina's family and Greece? How the Greek parliamentary elections in July 2019 are going to turn out? Back to square one? Are we just going in circles? No future, no hope? The topic of our documentary is very important to us and we would be so happy if it could reach the broader public. Especially today, it is vital that we address questions concerning our lives together as a European community. Your support makes the film possible. Help us with a donation and/or share this link with your friends.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
We have been working on the project without payment for one year and a half and have already financed costs of equipment and transportation. For the completion of the film, however, we need financial support. To shed light on German-Greek relations in their historical context, we work with archive material, for which expensive licenses have to be purchased (4000.- €). In addition, there are costs for the animated sequences of our film (1000.- €) and the upcoming shooting in Athens about the Greek parliamentary elections (2500.- €). We would also need additional funds (3000.- €) for professional soundtracks and film music. At best these funds would also cover a part of our equipment costs.
With the first funding goal, we can finish the film. The amount covers the archive and animation costs, the costs for the last and important shoot about the elections in Greece. The second funding goal enables us to do professional post-production (sound design, film music, and animations). Of the money collected, 7% will be used for startnext and transaction fees.
Who are the people behind the project?
Our film team consists of Clara Puhlmann (German film production student at the DFFB; studied philosophy and economics), Iphigenia Andreou (Greek-German philosophy and economics student, speaks Greek and knows the subject well), Roman Stocker (Swiss cameraman and editor) and the protagonist Katerina Chiotini with her family.