The First Line has exclusively been acquired by Netflix and is available now to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the acquisition of the Parthenon Marbles by the British Museum.
Written, produced, and directed by brothers Coerte and John Voorhees, the film stars Giancarlo Giannini (Casino Royale), Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Michael Byrne (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), renowned Greek actors Georges Corraface and Yorgo Voyagis, and introduces Pantelis Kodogiannis and Kassandra Voyagis.
The film is Executive Produced by the Voorhees Family, Fotini Maniatis Kondos, Georgia Sarantopoulos, and Lauren Selig.
The Parthenon Marbles were removed by Lord Elgin and sold to the British Museum in 1816 and include the sculpted frieze, metopes, and 17 life-size pediment figures from the Parthenon. This seminal film showcases the story of the most famous stolen art debate in world history. In light of the Brexit and new legislation in Parliament calling for the return of the Marbles to Greece, this politically charged film is sure to stir a vehement debate.
The film is set in modern day Athens amid the European economic crisis and political unrest. Two Greek lawyers, romantically intertwined, sue the British Museum for the return of the famous “Elgin Marbles” to Greece. They are inspired by the ancient bronze statue of Athena Promahos that once stood guard in front of the Parthenon – representing “the one who fights in the first line of battle” to defend democracy and the birth of Western civilization.
“The Parthenon Marbles are so much more than just the most contested pieces of art in world history. They tell the story of the Athenian ideals of justice, freedom, and democracy. As such, they are a source of much needed inspiration and a unifying force in today’s divided world. We are thrilled that this important message will be available to millions of Netflix subscribers worldwide. ” – Coerte & John Voorhees
THE FIRST LINE was recently screened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and will screen this Wednesday in London on 28th of September at the Curzon Mayfair to celebrate the 200th anniversary with the stars of the film expected to be in attendance alongside celebrities, heads of state, politicians, and VIP supporters of the repatriation effort.
The Marbles and Melina Mercouri
Melina Mercouri to this day stands as a guidepost in every effort to repatriate the Parthenon Marbles. She made the first concerted effort for the Return of the Marbles during her tenure as Minister of Culture. She boldly advocated for the repatriation and reunification of the monument, globalising the issue.
“And the Parthenon Marbles they are. There are no such things as the Elgin Marbles.
There is a Michael Angelo David.
There is a Da Vinci Venus.
There is a Praxitelles Hermes.
There is a Turner “Fishermen at Sea”.
There are no Elgin Marbles!
You know, it is said that we Greeks are a fervent and warm blooded breed. Well, let me tell you something – it is true. And I am not known for being an exception. Knowing what these sculptures mean to the Greek people, it is not easy to address their having been taken from Greece dispassionately, but I shall try. I promise.
You must understand what the Parthenon Marbles mean to us. They are our pride. They are our sacrifices. They are our noblest symbol of excellence. They are a tribute to the democratic philosophy. They are our aspirations and our name . They are the essence of Greekness.
We are ready to say that we rule the entire Elgin enterprise as irrelevant to the present. We say to the British government: you have kept those sculptures for almost two centuries. You have cared for them as well as you could, for which we thank you. But now in the name of fairness and morality, please give them back. I sincerely believe that such a gesture from Great Britain would ever honour your name. Thank you.”– Excerpt from Melina’s Mercouri speech at Oxford Union in London in 1986.
At some point she was asked if she really believed that the Marbles would be returned in Greece and she said:
“I hope that I will see the Marbles back in Athens before I die; but if they come back later I shall be reborn”
PS1. We know that she will be with us tonight. Every time a concerted effort is made for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles her heart beats once more. She is reborn. And this emboldens us; until the Marbles are returned to where they belong. And she will be reborn and with her so will Greece.
PS2.In this difficult and unequal battle, Greece does not stand alone. Important public figures are voting for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles: Stephen Fry, Matt Damon, Judi Dench, Liam Neeson, Amal Clooney, George Clooney, Sean Connery and many others…
All together all the supporters of the repatriation effort. All together with one voice.