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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zorba the Greek is a Novel and Movie

Zorba the Greek is a novel and film based on the life of a fictitious character whose high-energy lifestyle not only impacted those he encountered through the literary genius of Cretan Nikos Kazantzakis, but has brought pleasure to millions of readers and movie goers since the book was published in 1946 and the film released in 1964.

The novel, written in Greek, was changed into a translated screenplay by fellow Cretan Michael Cacoyannis, who also directed the black & white film that starred Anthony Quinn as Zorba and Alan Bates as an English bookworm.

The two met in Pireaus, the port city of Athens, then embarked on a journey to Crete where the stodgy bookworm was transformed by Zorba’s uninhibited zest for life.

Facts about the novel and film, Zorba the Greek, and Nikos Kazantzakis:

* The quiet Englishman, Basil, is writing a biography about Buddha at story’s outset, and plans to leave for quiet Crete where he recently inherited a small cottage and a defunct coal mine

* Zorba joins him on the voyage and, in Crete, is part of two financial disasters for Basil

* Basil learns so much about how to live life with vitality similar to Zorba‘s that his lost fortunes suddenly carry little importance for him

* 1919-1927 Kazantzakis was director general of the Greek Ministry of Public Welfare, a period when he was credited with feeding and eventually rescuing 150,000 people of Greek descent caught up in the civil war then raging in the Caucasian region of the Soviet Union

* Cacoyannis was an acquaintance of Kazantzakis near the end of the latter’s life

* In 1957, the year Kazantzakis died, he was one vote short of winning the Nobel Prize for literature, losing to French author Albert Camus

Whether you enjoy reading or attending movies, Zorba the Greek is a powerful story about attitude and change where two characters, originally diametrically opposed, grow close and share a profound relationship.

By Rocky Wilson
Author Of Sharene - Death: A Prerequisite For Life
Blog writer for Body By Chocolates

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