Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.

GREECE, GOLDEN DAWN : In this documentary we follow three of the women at the top of Golden Dawn, the notorious Greek extreme right-wing party.

Golden Dawn Girls

Håvard Bustnes

Norway, Denmark, Finland. 2017

Urania is the daughter of the party leader’s Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and Jenny and Dafne are the wife and the mother of Golden Dawn MPs Giorgos Germenis and Panayiotis Iliopoulos respectively. The men are in jail at the time of the filming, facing charges including murder and participation in a criminal organisation. The camera follows the women as they try to deal with the situation and also bring the party forward in the upcoming elections.

Normal people?

The film is more powerful that it seems at first, and leaves a strong aftertaste. Set out to find the humaneness in the life of these women, what the films shows instead is that even those who promote hatred in society can have a very human face. “They told me they want to make a film showing that we are normal people”, Jenny says in the beginning, reassuring everyone in the party’s headquarters that the camera pointed at them presents no danger. The way they are portrayed in the media is almost an obsession for them, and being seen as human seems to be a goal of the Golden Dawn party in general. Angelique Kourounis’ 2016 documentary Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair captures a scene in which a party organizer forgets that the camera is on and explains to the other members that around journalists, they should carefully avoid the kind of terminology they usually use when they speak. When someone asks why they should accept being filmed in the first place, he answers that “The party wants people like her to show that we are not weird.”

«The Golden Dawn party have 18 representatives in the Greek Parliament.»

Weird and in Parliament

And yet, “weird” is a mild word to describe what the party stands for and the way its members behave. Nazi symbolism, flags, tattoos and aggressive postures are all visual props of Golden Dawn. Their marches look threatening. They walk with flags and torches while chanting slogans in voices that sound like barks. Despite the party rejecting the neo-nazi tag, Golden Dawn has all the characteristics of a Nazi group with a military-like structure and a lot of hate to fuel their efforts. Its members reject liberalism and socialism, advocating for nationalism as the only authentic revolution; they believe in racial supremacy, and in some sort of romantic belief that nowadays Greeks are the direct descendants of the ones who populated Ancient Greece, a civilization they idealize.

The party wasn’t always successful, but then it harnessed in the winds of the economic crisis in Greece, the unemployment and an unprecedented number of refugees and immigrants coming in that exact same period. Their support grew from 0,2 % of the votes to having 18 representatives in the Parliament.

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