Film: “Z” by the director Costa-Gavras

Location: USM Portland Campus, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall
Time: Sunday, November 4, 3 PM,

Previously shown in the first Hellenic Society Film Series 14 years ago! A landmark political thriller, this film won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1969. Costa-Gavras gives us a top-class, fast paced directed film which hasn’t aged. The movie tells the true story of the routine investigation into the seemingly accidental death of a Greek pacifist leader. It uncovers a web of violence and terrorism that implicates an entire government in its conspiracy to murder an honest man. “…one of the fastest, most exciting melodramas ever made…never loses emotional contact with the audience” (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker). Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, Yves Montand and Irene Papas. In French with English subtitles. 127 minutes.


Worlds oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

A 75 feet ancient shipwreck has been found in Black Sea in over 1.6 miles of water, according the Guardian newspaper. The lack of oxygen in such a depth preserved this shipwreck in tact with mast, rudders, and rowing benches. This is the oldest ship found and is believed to be 2400 years old. The documentary team has made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum … (Full article)

HSoM Newsletter Fall 2018

The Hellenic Society of Maine Fall 2018 edition has been published (Click Here for the electronic version). If you are on our mailing list you should have received a copy.  If you are not on our mailing list, please send us an email at or subscribe to this webpage to receive automatic notifications.

Ambassador David Pearce: “Why Diplomacy Matters”

Why Diplomacy Matters”
By David Pearce Former Ambassador to Greece 2013-2015
Date: Friday, September 21,  @ 5:30pm
Location: Room 102 Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland

We are excited to announce a talk by the Honorable David Pearce, former U.S Ambassador to Greece (and Algeria). He will discuss why U.S. engagement abroad matters, drawing on over four decades of experience of living and working overseas, as a journalist and diplomat. He will also provide practical examples of diplomacy at work, from his time as Ambassador to Greece from 2013-2016, and his  many years of work in the Middle East.
Ambassador Pearce has held senior-level positions at the State Department in Washington, with responsibility for Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
After three years of service as Ambassador in Athens, he retired in November 2016 from the U.S. Department of State as a Career Minister, the second-highest rank attainable in the Foreign Service.

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“Astoria” the last film of the Spring series

Sunday, April 15, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland

“Astoria” Dir.: Nick Efteriades, USA, (2000, limited release), 2006.
Okay, so it’s not a Academy Award contender, but this independent film by a Greek-American filmmaker is a solid little drama set in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria known as “Little Athens.” The film centers around a blue-collar Greek-American family and its struggle to hold on to the American Dream— it’s like a Greek Saturday Night Fever with much less dancing! The desire of 28-year-old Alex is to escape his stagnant neighborhood, and his father’s plan that he take over the family sandwich shop, and pursue an off-beat dream that will take him to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. Meanwhile he has to deal with a local mangas; and with the fact that he has become enchanted by a beautiful iconographer, visiting from Greece. The original score by Nikos Papazoglou is a plus. The New York Times called the film “charming.” Rated “R” for language. In English. 103 minutes.

Lecture: “Genealogical Sleuthing in Greece: Sailing on the ‘Wine-Dark’ Sea of Greek History”

Lecturer: Mary Papoutsy
Date: March 22, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Location: Room 133, Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland

Mary Papoutsy will discuss the American sources of information needed to launch genealogical research in Greece, and then give concrete examples of the types of information that Greek repositories hold. Successful genealogical research work there depends upon patience and preparatory work here. Researchers encounter genealogical challenges at the very outset with transcriptions of Greek, but these can be resolved. Armed with a Greek spelling of the family surname and the name of the ancestral village, one can initiate investigations and request records in Greece. Family research there is a true odyssey, punctuated with serendipitous finds and unexpected detours.

Hellenic Society Movie & Annual Meeting March 4

1. The annual meeting for will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. on March 4 in Talbot Auditorium (where the films are shown), Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland. We will present the annual report, touch on plans for the coming year and announce the results of the election of officers. Members may opt to attend just the meeting or stay for the film at 3:00 pm. I hope to see you there.

2. “Ψυχή Βαθιά” (A Soul So Deep) Dir.: Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece, 2009
Sunday, March 4, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
Pantelis Voulgaris’s latest film tackles the still-divisive topic of Greece’s 1946-49 Civil War, when the “National” army of Greece’s Western-backed government fought an insurgent “Democratic” army of Greek leftists and communists. The struggle was one of the first armed conflicts of the new Cold War. Voulgaris dramatizes these internecine events through the tale of two young brothers – 14-year-old Vlassis and 17-year-old Anestis – who find themselves enlisted in opposing camps after their father is killed and they are separated from their mother. Voulgaris has stated that his intention was “to finally reconcile the bloodiest pages of our modern history. “His beautifully-shot film is set in the Grammos Mountains of western Macedonia, site of some of the war’s worst violence, in 1949 – what Voulgaris calls “the last act of our nation’s drama.” The humanism for which the director is renowned is very much in evidence; because Voulgaris has also always been an artist of leftist sympathies, some attention has been paid to the question of whether he reveals any bias – or if, perhaps, he has attempted to be too even-handed – in his treatment of this very contentious subject. Not Rated, but probably PG-13. In Greek with English sub-titles. 136 minutes