Muses and Moon Landings ~ ‘Uranya’ Movie Review

‘Wisdom begins in wonder’ (Socrates)

It is the summer of 1969 and it is hot, very hot! The scent of rare orchids and sweet honeysuckle permeate the air, colliding deliciously with the comforting aroma of bread baking in the courtyard ovens. And, I must not forget (God forbid) the dried olive leaves used as sacred incense by the church priest – guaranteed to bless you, smoke drama and the devil OUT.

‘Uranya’ a beautiful and wordly woman (if you believe the village murmurs) lives alone. Set on a beach overlooking the brilliant blue Mediterranean, her home is humble on the outside but the village boys are more interested by the man affirming experiences they have heard goes on inside. So, they start to save their drachmas in a rusty old tin to pay for a ‘visit’ with ‘Uranya’ and discover the mysteries of agapi.

The five boys in this story take an oath on this but there is another potential life-changing event about to take place – the Apollo 11 Moon Landing on July 20th. Now, there was a problem – no one in the village owned a TV on which to watch this historic event on. Achilleas, one of the boys and central to this story is now faced with a dilemma and decision to make that could lead to the breaking of the oath of this randy band of young brothers – spend their savings visiting ‘Uranya’ or buy a TV set – Model 19″ America make URANYA!!

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I cried a little and belly laughed a lot watching this 2006 movie. Films like ‘Uranya’ make me think of my nephews and the antics boys get up to in the name of experience and exploration when they are young. It’s a coming of age story and one that impacts the families of the village as well as friendships in ways that change out of date beliefs and perceptions of ones neighbours.

For Achilleas and his friends, this was a time in their simple rural lives when nothing was in reach, yet everything was. When seeing stars and reaching for the moon was a dream, a dream made true with the heavenly love of Greek Muse of Astronomy ‘Urania’ and her village namesake.

In Greek mythology, there were nine muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Urania and Calliope. Urania was the guardian of celestial objects and the heavens. Known to have founded astrology, she wore a cloak embroidered with stars and held a sphere and a bow compass.

Artist: Giuseppe Mazzei ~ Urania
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© Michelle Sotiriou 2021

The Power of The Father – Your Rock!

It’s Good Friday and I’m home alone anticipating an afternoon of snacking and biblical film watching. Biblical films may not bring warmth to everyone’s crib, heart or mind but I like them; I always have. I flick the channels in the hope of seeing Charlton Heston win a bloody chariot race when I come across another man who is just as impressive and bold. The Rock may not be a cinematic legend to all film junkies but I couldn’t help but be drawn into his charmingly enticing film ‘The Game Plan’.

Essentially, this is a film about The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) building a once lost relationship with his daughter and how he teaches her to be strong and never give up without trying her best. Very funny in parts and emotional in others, I grabbed the tissue box more than once. It got me thinking how important fathers are and the role they have which can be dismissed or not recognised as an intrinsic part of a son or daughters evolving life.

Whom ever coined the phrase, ‘be careful what you wish for’ really knew what they were talking about and my wish to watch a story about a father wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but its underlying message was just as important. We all know the worth of mothers and the bond that developes from the womb but I do feel that fathers are left a little to one side once their baby making duties are fulfilled.

It’s true that some are useless, absolutely useless in fact and I have seen at first hand the damage they cause because they are not ready to change, even for a life that they created. I have to say that I have experienced this type of father so when I see others who are totally committed to their children yet receive no mention, I feel it is time for them to be put on as high a pedestal as all mothers are.

The lessons, values and life-skills a father can teach their child are immeasurable and the time they spend doing so builds a special relationship which not only enhances a child’s confidence but also makes them aware that they are loved unconditionally without prejudice or judgement. Always there, always patient, knowing that their duty is to create grounded and self-assured adults.

With so many temptations and outside forces like the evil child catcher ready to pounce, a fathers role is more important now than ever before. Not all couples who create future generations make it, this is no excuse for a father to be any less involved. Stepping up, even on the hostile ground of a break-up really separates the men from the boys.

No parent should find themselves praying for the souls of their children, no parent should see their child in darkness and no child should suffer because of the sins of their father. Thanks to a wrestle mania giant, believe it or not, there was one message from ‘The Game Plan’ which stuck out further than his biceps; you man up not give up!

© Michelle Sotiriou 2015