Zorba The Greek

Director:   Michael Cacoyannis
Year:   1964
Language:   English/Greek
Time:   142 minutes

This film is based on the novel "Alexis Zorbas" 1946 by Nikos Kazantzakis. As a film the plot is rather simple: an aimless Englishman finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing.

The novel explores in more detail Nietzsche's contrasting of the Apollonian and the Dionysian spirits of order and rationality versus the ecstatic, spontaneous will to live.

Only Lila Kedrova as Madame Hortense won an Academy Award in 1965, but Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates delivered the memorable performances. Zorba also received Oscars for set direction and cinematography.

Zorba also received many nominations for Oscars including "Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium" for Michael Cacoyannis.

Post-film discussion led by Mary Stanley and Kathleen Tanham.

Not rated in the US.


About the author and screenwriter, Nikos Kazantzakis

About the director and screenwriter, Michael Cacoyannis

Film review by Toni Mastroianni.