Greek film director and producer Maria Hatzimichali-Papaliou has released to view online two documentaries relating to Greek history as part of the 200 years of Greek independence celebrations.

The first film which is freely available to view on Youtube is “Tourkokratia”,  an episode from her documentary series “You Are Not Alone”. Ms Papaliou said the film which is showing on the YouTube channel of the Municipality of Physico-Filothei is in Greek and will be available for “a few more days”.

“The film brings to life the people and events that led to the successful Greek War of Independence, that broke out in 1821,” the director said.

Filming for the series took place in Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Scotland, Israel, Egypt, and Syria.

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The second film by Ms Papaliou, entitled “Philothei the Athenian – the revolution of a Greek woman” is available in Greek, English, and French through Vimeo for a fee of A5.86.

It recounts the story of a 16th Century Athenian woman, St Philothei Revoula Benizelos, who was descended from the Palaiologoi, the last emperors of Byzantium.

“(It is) the story of an exceptional figure, who lived in Athens in the 16th century… She was a revolutionary well before the Greek War of Independence,” said Ms Papaliou.

The documentary which was filmed Istanbul, Venice, Athens, and various Greek islands, looks at the life of an exceptional woman, Philothei the Athenian saint who defied Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to free slaves using her own money.

She set up the first school for women in Greece and Europe, for Christians and those of other religions. She prepared them to live on their own resources, offering professional training to over 2,000 apprentices.

St Philotei also set up a refuge for women, who were abused, pregnant, threatened with stoning and helped them to escape through the ancient tunnels beneath the city to reach the islands.

She also founded a hospital that offered free treatment to Greeks, Turks and Franks alike.

In 1589, she was arrested, tortured and executed.

The film has been well received at festivals where it has been screened.

♦ Click on this “Tourkokratia” link on YouTube to view the documentary. This film is available for a limited number of days.

To see “Philothei the Athenian – the revolution of a Greek woman” for a fee of $5.86, click here to view the film in Greek; here to see the film in English; or here to see the film in French.