Filmmaker Alethea Avramis has always been fascinated with her hyphenated Greek-American heritage and — on more than one occasion — has used film to learn more about her Greek side.
As an undergraduate senior at UCLA, Avramis presented a thesis about the 1943 massacre in the rural Greek town of Kalavryta where Nazi Germans murdered hundreds of men and boys.
She later received the Carey McWilliams Award for Best Honors Thesis for her work, which led to the making of her first film in 2006, “The Last Widow.”
The film centers around Euthymia Vaya, the last surviving widow from the Kalavryta massacre, who shares her firsthand account of what happened in 1943.
Using visuals from both the past and present, the film portrays the lasting impact that the massacre has had on Kalavrytans to this day.
Avramis shot the documentary in Greece, opening up her interests in making future films in her ancestral country.
“I’ve always been drawn to that raw emotion that Greek people don’t shy away from,” Avramis said. “I love capturing the way that plays out, I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
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