The great Greek/French director Costa Gavras gave a press conference yesterday afternoon shortly before he received the first of this year’s Donostia awards that gave him the chance to look back on a long, productive career stretching back to the 1960s. He said he was very moved to receive such a big honour particularly as directors like him were very aware of how special the award was. Born in Greece in 1933, Costa-Gavras fled his country when he was 22. “Greece was no place for people of my generation, so I settled in France, and since then I’ve been a French citizen, even though ultimately you never stop being and feeling Greek.”
He confessed that what was miraculous about filmmaking was the fact that directors create something from nothing and put together a reality from something purely random. He also acknowledged that it was improbable that he would be able to make a film like Missing in Hollywood nowadays with a big studio, although the biggest problem he’d always had was finding money for his next film.
As for how fiction can have an impact on social reality, he said that since the time of the ancient Greeks it had always been the best way to find ideas and metaphors to talk about reality.
Asked about the possibility of making a film in Iran, he replied that he didn’t think it was a good idea: “You’ve got such great cinema, why would you want a European to give you classes?”