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olivia said on March 19th, 2005 at 5:56 pm :

when i clicked on “still exists today” i thought i was gonna read about some undercover thing sowhere uncivilized about human trafficking. what i got wasnt quite like it, but i hate it just as much!


kines said on March 19th, 2005 at 11:16 pm :

Yeah, its tragic. Love can never be created from something that doesn’t exist, in my opinion.


profoundly disturbed said on March 21st, 2005 at 12:07 pm :

i didnt expect the movie to have been to your liking so much… im really glad. we could go see a touch of spice on fri if u want…. i could come along to explain the random greek details a non-greek person wouldnt get…. hehe…


Xicabella said on May 27th, 2005 at 5:53 pm :

Certainly an amazing film. The cinematography was incredible. “Brides” overwhelmed my thoughts and emotions. When I saw it I needed to decompress for about an hour. Highly recommend “Brides” to anyone!

Mar 19, 2005 | Movie Review for Brides

Hence commences the review of yet another movie I went to see with kudu and imma at ARP Cineastes near Porte de Clichy: Brides aka Nyfes (2004)

Director: Pantelis Voulgaris
Starring: Damian Lewis (Dream Catchers, Band of Brothers), Viktoria Charalabidou, Evelina Papoulia
Rated: Not rated but most likely PG
Runtime: 128 min

A sentimental, gripping (and romantic) Greek film (as can be deduced by the names of the main actors/actresses), Brides proves to be a memorable one, both in its presentation and its content. The movie is apparently based on true accounts of how in the 19020s, “mail-order brides” were sent from Greece to marry men in the United States. This particular case traces a certain Samothracian Niki Douka, who has to go to Chicago to marry Prodromos, who had been married to Niki’s sister until she had returned, no longer capable of stand life in the States. She is essentially forced to go in order to save her family’s name. However, on the SS King Alexander that takes her to New York, she happens across one-time war photographer Norman Harris, who realises the angst and the despair, and eventually comes to their cause, for those 700 brides who hold only photographs of their future husbands.

Perhaps what tore me most apart in the movie was the apparent helplessness these women felt, in that they knew a better life awaited them across the Atlantic, especially after such conflicts with the Turks as well as other wars in the earlier part of the 19th century, but that this involved becoming married to a man they only knew by photograph. The movie presents three cases within this “mail-order” restrictiveness overshadows “true love” with varying degrees of success: the love between Niki and Norman which Niki refuses, knowing she has her family to save; that between Haro and Antonius, which meets a tragic end after Haro commits suicide knowing that once in the States with her husband she will never be able to return to find Antonius, and finally the one between Olga and the sailor, which fortunately ends well as both escape.

And to think such “mail order brides” still exist today. Where has real love gone? Why have we cultivated a world where people think they can earn love with money, and on the other side that it is perfectly acceptable to list one’s photograph along with your age, height, weight, hair and eye color in order to go abroad and live a presumably better life? I mean I realise that nowadays women can flatly turn down offers for marriage, but I find it difficult to imagine what sort of man would go rifle through a website and select women just by their looks and some flimsy character analysis. Seriously.

For those of you who speak Greek, for the paucity of information in English on the movie, visit its official website, where you’ll undoubtedly find a lot more information about the movie and the sad roots it has been derived from. You’ll find a slideshow of some of the women who appeared in the movie in their bridal costume attire.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2005 at 12:41 pm, EST under the category of Movie Reviews. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.