‘On the aftermath of World War II in December 1945 and in an extremely volatile political context for Greece as the civil war had practically begun, the French Institute of Athens managed to charter a ship in order to transfer to France about 150 young Greek scientists and artists.
The film narrates the context and conditions of a journey that is inextricably linked to the most traumatic aspects of recent Greek history. These aspects remain largely unknown to the wider public as a result of the silence, thus far, of the very passengers of the boat, whose generation was deeply influenced by this untold experience of the postwar period. The documentary tells the story of how this unexpected departure from Athens turned out to be vital to the survival of this generation of young scientists, intellectuals and artists, offering them the opportunity to turn their stay in a foreign land into a source of freedom, inspiration and creativity. As such, the documentary brings out the elements that are central for the understanding of these individuals’ intellectual and artistic inspiration and their personal itineraries.
The documentary depicts the process of a journey that emerges out of oblivion and settles into memory, aiming to offer a living testimony of this epic passage between three different generations. It is based on the oral testimonies of the living passengers of “Mataroa” and on rare archival footage that places the course of events within a historical context.’ (Andreas Siadimas, extract from synopsis)