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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!!

Image Credit: www.amazon.co.uk

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It’s a coming of age story and one that impacts the families of the village as well as friendships in ways that change out of date beliefs and perceptions of ones neighbours.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

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She Be a Poet – STOP!

Image credit: https://www.redbubble.com/people/rosaliartbook/shop

Gods of war lost their manners ripping worlds apart,

Shameful, stood there watching mothers crippled dreams way from the start,

Guilty of walking past, the tears that burn the streets,

Why do you pick up the pace of ignorance?

Why don’t you slow down?

Why don’t you stop?

Why don’t you please ask?

Remove your mask…

Blades they bleed of grief not glory.

End of story. 

© Michelle Sotiriou 2019

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‘The Forbidden Note’ Should be Seen & Heard – Film Review

‘Every year world-wide, there are over 26 million arranged marriages. Over 53% of all marriages in the world are arranged. Globally, over 11 million women are forced to marry before the age of 18’.

A startling, accurate statement at the bitter end of British Indie Film ‘The Forbidden Note’ which struck more than a familiar tune with me I can tell you. Tissues and a cup of strong tea at hand, I was prepared, prepared for the sting of tears which usually surface after a love story doesn’t go the way I hoped it would and the lump in my throat to be comforted by my hot brew; calming my romantic soul. However, the emotion that I didn’t possess a coping mechanism for whilst watching ‘The Forbidden Note’ on amazon.co.uk Amazon Prime was pure rage.

Whilst this film essentially highlights the desperate plight of millions of young women and girls being forced to marry against their will, it also touches on the harrowing act of grooming innocent young children who are lured into worlds that take them away from the dreamland they are desperately trying to reach.

Orphan Cosmo, played by Reese Scholtz, is banished from a boarding school by a less than God like nun after his mother passed away. Just a boy, he is thrust into Yardie territory and the brutish arms of its leader Benzart played by Fredi ‘Kruga’ Nwaka to be made a soldier; a child soldier. Sakeena, played by Reena Anjali is a Muslim girl promised to a fellow Muslim who is so vile and inadequate in every way possible, that you would question any parent or family member, regardless of culture or religious conviction, for believing a life of misery with ‘that’ is a life worth living for their daughter. These are very real stories, stories of a savage existence, experienced behind every dark corner and continent.

Cosmo & Sakeena

Supressed by the criminal underworld and ignorant, undisguised restrictions, Cosmo teaches himself to play the piano and Sakeena is a ballerina tip toeing through life on a secret stage. Both find solace and freedom of expression through music and dance which inevitably leads them to one another. Those of you who are open-minded, with a live and let live attitude will think this a perfect combination but the course of true love never did run smooth…so they say.

‘The Forbidden Note’ has my full attention thanks to writer and director Callum Andrew Johnston who has thoughtfully created a telling piece. He wrote this emotive story with two highly sensitive topics in his mind, arranged marriages and radicalization but he skilfully managed to incorporate so much more. Scripted and acted with feeling and depth, this film has left me emotionally invested for an eternity unless history is made!

© Michelle Sotiriou 2017

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The Tale of Two Wolves – Light & Shade

A close friend sent me a powerful message recently which a nutshell, describes the fight within people of all ages, cultures and sexes.

The Tale of Two Wolves is a poignant perception of the fight between good and evil, light and shade. As you watch this, you will be wondering where the story is heading and what long, drawn out answer you will be presented with calling for hours of complicated study making you busier than you already are (allegedly)

Trust me when I say that you will be surprised at the uncomplicated nature of this simply calm, yet wondrous Cherokee counsel.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2015