Documentary on Social Collapse in Greece
Here is a powerful piece of film-making about the current social crisis in Greece. Athens: Social Meltdown, by film-maker Ross Domoney, is based on research by, and features extensive interviews with, University of Sussex anthropologist Dimitris Dalakoglou.The film deals with the changes in Greek society since 2010 and paints a picture of increasing radicalisation of the middle, a society alienated from its political elites and the caste of police — itself increasingly viewed as an enemy of the people — that protect them.
The film contains plenty of scenes of conflict between protesters and police, but what makes it particularly rending are the emotionally charged scenes of Greek protesters explaining the nature of their anger. It also presents a fairly dark view of the future for Greece. Although there are some hopeful signs of Greeks self-organising in order to create alternative systems of currency and exchange, this development of informal economic spheres could also be taken as evidence of increasing social fragmentation as people disconnect from the formal structures of economy and governance.
Here in Germany the media is dominated by hand-wringing over the future of the Euro and the apparent Greek recalcitrance which is endangering it. The image of lazy and disorganised Greeks prevails and not much comes through about the social impact of the crisis and the austerity measures being pushed especially by the Germans. This film helps to show the human side of current events and to make tangible the sense of desperation that is underpinning what seems to be a thoroughgoing radicalisation of Greek society.