Legend has it that the nymph Arethusa – in order to avoid the amorous advances of the river god Alpheus who transformed himself into a hunter and pursued her – called upon the goddess Artemis to rescue her by turning her into a spring near Syracuse. But in order to unite with her, Alpheus turned himself back into a river and plunged down an underground channel cut in the earth and reaching from Greece all the way to Sicily.
So their waters mingled and the inhabitants of ancient Olympia threw objects in the Alpheus River in Greece which they claimed reappeared in Arethusa’s spring in Syracuse.
A small boy in Olympia, in 1985, chases his ball, which fell into the Alpheus river and becomes the “guide” in a cinematic narration that explores the myths and history of the river and shows on film the damage it has suffered as a result of modern man’s activities.
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY : Menelaos KARAMAGHIOLIS
CINEMATOGRAPHY : Lakis KALYVAS
EDITING : Takis KOUMOUNDOUROS
NARRATORS : Niki VOSNIAKOU, Electra ALEXANDROPOULOU, Menelaos KARAMAGHIOLIS
LINE PRODUCERS : Christos CHRISTODOULOU, Kiriakos GEORGIOU
SOUND : Nikos SFETSAS
ASSISTANT DIRECTORS : Panagiotis KAKAVIAS, Markos HOLEVAS
Alpheus is one of the best documentary films that have been screened recently. A film with many layers and an unexpected aesthetic integrity that brought to life the myths about the famous river as opposed to the real importance of its life giving function.
“KATHIMERINI” , 06-04-1986
The young director Menelaos Karamaghiolis sheds light to the story and the present of the river Alpheus in a unique way. He “colours” the history of that place by mixing images and words in a beautiful way.
“AVGI” , 06-04-1986
Can a documentary film about the river Alpheus not be a dull geography lesson? A very difficult task, but it’s possible when its mythology, its archeological findings and folk tradition that wants Alpheus to be a groom to whom the locals offer any goods one can imagine, become the ingredients for the film. Menelaos Karamaghiolis, a very young director, made a deeply poetic film, without breaking the rules of documentaries.
“ELEFTHEROTYPIA” , 30-03-1986