Thirean Matins

Θηραικός Όρθρος

A “visual social research” on Santorini at a time when the primitive agricultural economy gradually gave way to the emerging tourism industry. Its impoverished and malnourished inhabitants are juxtaposed with the evocative beauty of the island, dressed with sounds of Orthodox psalms. Filmed on the island in the summer of 1967, at the beginning of the dictatorship period, this short film uses the powerful counterpoint between the images and music to go beyond the boundaries of a simple folklore documentary and presents itself as a haunting portrait of a two-tier society, an ominous vision of a future that has already been spreading. “Elements of drama, satire, epic and lyricism had to be fused within a music frame that lacks any kind of naturalistic approach, to create anti-metaphysical melodies that stem from tradition while also being a sufferer’s current outcry”, the two directors commented with regards to the rare and exciting cinematic collaboration. The sound design of the film is transformed into a frame of comparison and exposition. Combined with the unique use of editing and cinematography, the film leads the viewer into a deep, shocking journey of observation. Run-down population, a whole structure in the service of the rapid bloom of tourism, in a sharp political precursor of New Greek Cinema, which was to spring alongside the political change-over.The film was bought from, among others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), which included it in its collection. The film will be screened in a newly restored digital copy (DCP), created for the purposes of the event “Motherland, I See you”.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Kostas Sfikas, Stavros Tornes
Cinematography: Gioros Panousopoulos
Editing: Panos Papakyriakopoulos
Sound: Kosταs Sfikas
Producers: Stavros Tornes, Giorgis Samiotis
Format: DCP
Production Country: Greece
Production Year: 1968
Duration: 22΄
Distribution in Greece: Greek Film Centre
Contact: Greek Film Centre,

Kostas Sfikas


1961 Inauguration (short)
1962 Anamoni (short)
1968 Thirian Matins (co-direction, short)
1974 Model (fiction)
1975 Metropolises
1980 The Voices and Haunts of Rebetika Music
1982 The Montage of Eisenstein
1986 Allegory (fiction)
1995 Paul Klee's Prophetic Bird of Sorrow (fiction)
1998 Prometheus Enantiodromon (fiction)
2002 The Woman of... and the Collector (fiction)
2007 Metamorphosis (fiction)

Stavros Tornes


1963 Mycenes (co-direction, short)
1964 Cyclades (co-direction, short)
1967 Thirian Matins (co-direction, short)
1973 Students (short)
1976 Farewell Anatolia (short fiction)
1977 Coatti (fiction)
1979 Eksopragmatico (short)
1982 Nikos Kavvadias
1982 Balamos (fiction)
1983 Hippodamias Square (short)
1984 Karkalou (fiction)
1986 Danilo Treles: The Famed Andalusian Musician (fiction)
1987 A Heron for Germany (fiction)