CM: The term 'heterotopia' is borrowed from medical science, and is used to explain the phenomenon of an organism developing in an unexpected location. It has been claimed that the history of man is an eternal struggle in the ever-mutating world that surrounds him. Owing to his intelligence, the ability to comprehend, understand and react, man manages to cope every time with the new conditions. World Champion in Freediving, on his twenty-third year, Manolis Giankos is a diver not only in the deep sea, but also in the magnificent world within him. In a unique brilliance of spirit he guides us into Heterotopia, his blue watery world, offering us a model of living far from the ordinary.
The main axis of the documentary is the adaptability of Manolis and the interaction with his natural as well as his social environment, as the interviews with his friends and the scenes from his training sessions reveal. Manolis says "Strange though it seems, the more you get involved in diving, the more able you become to look inside yourself. Everything can change, and a man at sea - especially under the surface - can never be sure everything will go as planned. It is something beyond his powers, and something he cannot control. It's not dry land, the surroundings he is familiar with. This fact alone makes you think differently about the way you deal with situations and people. It makes you think anew as to the way you deal with matters and people. At some stage - for any reason - I may not be able to deliver my task. This means nothing to me. Anything can deprive me from the ability to deliver. But that, which I have gained, no one can take from me."
Manolis Giankos has deliberately selected his own 'heterotopia'. Having placed himself with mind and body in a world that is difficult and particular, he demonstrates for us that something which seems to be distant and incomprehensible, may indeed serve as motive for action. Manolis is possessed by a desire to move against the Impossible, and he succeeds. Obviously, the aim of Christina Katsari is not to present an athletic documentary, but to offer a filmic psychograph made of shots within the element of the film's protagonist and with interviews with his relatives and friends.
Though being Christina Katsari's first documentary, Heterotopia was awarded the First Prize at Platforma Festival of 2004, organized by the Greek Directors' Guild. The film was made using a digital camera. The shooting took place largely at Volos of Greece. The underwater shots during the competition were taken by a crew specializing in deep diving. The script, direction and graphics are by Christina Katsari, the photography is by Christos Karamanis, the editing is by Stefanos Bertakis, and the production by Fay Katsari.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2006]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens