‘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!!
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It’s a coming of age story and one that impacts the families of the village as well as friendships in ways that change out of date beliefs and perceptions of ones neighbours.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.
© Michelle Sotiriou 2021