Nikos Koundouros

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

Of Men and Monsters: The Cinema of Nikos Koundouros

Film program


Wed 16 Oct – Wed 23 Oct 2024

See below for additional related events

As a versatile filmmaker whose work existed in the intersections of neorealism, film noir, experimental cinema and mythology, it’s no surprise that Greek writer and director Nikos Koundouros (1926–2017) lived a similarly multifaceted life. Born in Athens to an upper-class Cretan family, Koundouros first studied painting and sculpture during World War II, also joining the Greek Resistance against Axis occupation as a soldier of the Communist-dominated National Liberation Front’s army. During the ensuing Civil War, Koundouros’ membership of the Front resulted in his exile to the notorious Makronisos island concentration camp, where he says he “discovered the power of the human voice” and decided to pursue filmmaking.

Returning from exile, Koundouros established himself in opposition to mainstream Greek aesthetics and narratives with his Rossellini-influenced The Magic City (1954) and expressionistic The Ogre of Athens (1956). Despite overseas acclaim, including his Young Aphrodites (1963) winning the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, widespread recognition mostly alluded Koundouros during his career, partly due to his controversial reputation at home, along with his constant battles against censorship; the most notable involving his depiction of atrocities committed during the Greco-Turkish War in 1922 (1978). This season allows Melbourne audiences to experience several of the key works of a singular and revolutionary artist, without whom “nothing can be understood in the subsequent history of Greek cinema” (Vrasidas Karalis).


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

Plan your visit

Membership options

Mini membership
(3 consecutive weeks)

Annual memberships


Films in this program (Wed 16 Oct – Wed 23 Oct 2024)

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

About Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2024 program | See membership options

Melbourne Cinémathèque - Dirk Bogarde in a still from Victim

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like