"Smyrna: the Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City 1900-1922" (87 minutes), focuses on the cosmopolitan character of the city and how it was destroyed in an era of nationalist conflict. It seeks to present a balanced narrative that honors the discipline of history as well as all the victims of the city's destruction. It premiered at the Benaki Museum in Athens in January 2012 and in New York City in October 2012 as part of the Greek Film Festival and was screened in film theaters in Athens, Thessaloniki, London, Paris, and New York City. It was met with wide acclaim and warm praise by audiences and film critics.
The documentary film (directed by Maria Iliou, historical consultant Alexander Kitroeff, produced by Proteus) is based on a broad range of unknown footage and photographs discovered in archives in the United States and Europe and preserved by the non-profit organization Proteus. It includes appearences by Giles Milton, author of the best-selling Paradise Lost who is the film's main narrator and Eleni Batsea (University of New Mexico), Jacques Nalbantian (who escaped from Smyrna as a child in 1922), Leyla Neyzi (Sabanci University), Vana Solomonidou (whose London University doctorate dissertation is on Smyrna's governor Aristides Stergiades) and Thanos Veremis (University of Athens).
This screening has been made possible thanks to a grant from the STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATON.