(excerpts/repost from ATHENS VOICE / Nikos Papaeliou)
For more than a day, it dominated our newsfeeds, got shared thousands of times and managed to put many inadequacies of the Greek State in a nutshell, all the while touching our hearts and making us contemplate on a serious issue.
Human Rights Day presented the perfect opportunity for Theo Papadoulakis, director of The Island among other works, to publish My Brother, the short film that almost “broke” Greek internet, as the best possible pro-human rights campaign.
The film was inspired by the true story of Alexandra and Taty, two sisters living on opposites sides of the Atlantic. When Taty visited Chania to attend her sister’s wedding, she found the city almost impossible to navigate with her wheelchair. She even had to replace the wheels twice in one week, because of the constant hurdles she kept running into during her sightseeing efforts. Alexandra did not leave the incident go unnoticed and created #RespectLife, an online campaign to increase awareness on the difficulties faced by people with mobility restrictions in modern cities. The initiative was supported by a number of parallel actions, one of which was the production of Brother.
As the director, Theo Papadoulakis, points out: “We have had other Indigo View productions becoming viral in the past, but nothing compares to My Brother. The video reached 1.000.000 views and was reposted by thousands of different accounts and webpages within a matter of 10 hours! We were obviously ecstatic not only for it becoming viral, but for doing our small bit to showcase such an important issue to the wider audience possible.
It must be emphasized that this is a product of fiction. It purposely opens on a violent note, to showcase such tendencies and behaviors dominating Greek society, and trigger the viewer’s interest right from the start. It goes without saying that we do not condone violence of any kind. It just served our story.The beginning certainly acted as a hook to draw people in, make them eager to watch how the story evolved and partake in the message that we wished to put across.
Greeks should learn to take care of their lives outside their homes, as well as they do inside. We need to learn to respect our fellow man. Today more than ever before, we need to put a lot of effort into life outside our comfort zone, because this is the way to improve it in every other aspect.”