Interview to Giannis Andritsopoulos

To return the Sculptures of the Parthenon in Greece, Ken Loach invites the government of his country, one week after the refusal of Boris Johnson to enter into a dialogue on the issue with Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“The Sculptures of the Parthenon are stolen. They must return to Greece as soon as possible “, the world-famous British director stressed in the interview given to” NEA “, on the occasion of his forthcoming awarding of an honorary doctorate by the University of West Attica.

” The Sculptures were stolen from British imperialism. They should never have been removed. We don't even need to discuss it, “the two-time Golden Palm-winning filmmaker tells me. “It is a matter of respect for our Greek friends. So we have to say “we stole these”, Britain stole them, as did so many others during colonial rule. And then we will return them. “

When I ask him to comment on the answer given by the British Prime Minister to his Greek counterpart, it is not difficult at all:” Johnson is nothing more than a caricature of an old-fashioned imperialist “

Deeply politicized, left to the bone, year Loach was a fanatical follower of Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the Labor Party, and he looked with sympathy at SYRIZA, but he disappointed him. “Although the conditions in Greece and Britain are very different, we both had a chance to have serious, radical governments that would work for the benefit of the people, but this opportunity was taken away from us. In Greece, SYRIZA did not have the courage to put into practice the will of the Greek people for real change “, emphasizes the creator of the films” The wind dances the barley “and” I, Daniel Blake “, which made him one of just nine directors who have twice won the highest distinction at the Cannes Film Festival. It was popular and had a radical program that would really change the balance of power in society for the benefit of the working class. “But the establishment decided that he should not come to power and exterminated him.” And now; I ask. “It simply came to our notice then. To think about how we define democracy when the people speak in favor of a radical change, but the establishment decides that it will not allow it. These have happened again in the past. But we did not learn. The important thing is to learn our lesson. “

Labor member since his decade 1960 left the party in the years of Tony Blair and returned when Corbin took the helm. Last August, however, he revealed that new leader Kir Starmer ousted him because he “refused to deny members who had already been expelled.” How did he feel, really? “It was a great relief! It's like ending an abusive relationship. It is an honor, it is an honor to be expelled from a party that has become a parody of a left-wing party and now serves the interests of capital and business. “

Where do you support this? I ask. “But Starmer himself said that Labor is now the business party. “This means it is against the interests of the working class,” he said. “Blair, at least, had a superficial charm. He presented himself as a brilliant young man who would lead the country to a golden future. Starmer is boring. Boring as long as it does not go. He is also insidious and dishonest. ”

Hard words, I observe. “And yet. In his election 2019 he pretended to hug Corbin, knowing that he would expel him from the party when given the chance. He promised to uphold Labor policies, but now he is getting rid of them one after another. You can have no confidence in him. “

Two years after his last film and 35 after the first one, is there a new movie in the works? “It simply came to our notice then. You know, it's hard to say no when there are so many stories waiting to be told. On the other hand, this is a job for someone younger. I do not know…”. But, inside you are still very young, I tell him. Laughs. “I wish it were like that. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be cured. We can try. Let's see… ».

Announcement at the Greek embassy residence in London

The director “Kes” and “Earth and Freedom” will be announced tomorrow, Friday, honorary doctorate of the Department of Social Work of the University of West Attica, at the Greek Embassy in London.

“It is a great honor. I accept it with great pleasure. “I am excited that our films communicate with the Greeks,” said Loach, who was unable to travel to Athens due to the pandemic. “I hope, when circumstances allow, that I can go and get to know the students up close,” he notes.

His work is a very powerful and useful tool for training tomorrow's social workers “, emphasizes the president of the Department of Social Work, Harisios Asimopoulos.

” His films highlight and promote the concepts of empowerment, advocacy, social equality, social justice and social change. These are the basic values ​​of the scientific field of social work “, adds the professor of the department Vassilis Ioakeimidis.