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Documentary exposing Golden Dawn racism awarded

'The Cleaners' by Konstantinos Georgousis picks up jury award in Sarajevo

In 'The Cleaners', which followed Golden Dawn members in Athens during last year's parliamentary elections, candidate Alekos Plomaratis says: 'We are ready to turn on the ovens', adding that immigrants will be turned into soap for washing cars

Golden Dawn election candidate Alekos Plomaratis talks openly about turning migrants into soap Golden Dawn election candidate Alekos Plomaratis talks openly about turning migrants into soap A film exposing the racist views and politics of hatred shared by Golden Dawn members has picked up an award at a major Balkans film festival.

Directed by Konstantinos Georgousis, The Cleaners took the special jury prize for documentary films at the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival.

The award comes with a €2,500 prize, sponsored by Al Jazeera Balkans.

The Cleaners, an extract of which was shown in a news report in March on Britain’s Channel 4, follows Golden Dawn members in Athens during last year's parliamentary elections. In the film, candidate Alekos Plomaratis says: "We are ready to turn on the ovens", adding that immigrants will be turned into soap for washing cars.

Last month, it was confirmed that Plomaratis will stand trial for his remarks under the 1979 antiracism law. 

Georgousis, a graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, filmed the 37-minute documentary over the period of a month.

Speaking to Avgi newspaper after the award, Georgousis said: "It is a great honour for me to find myself in a city that has suffered so much from nationalism, and it is a double honour to win the prize considering that the [Thessaloniki Film Festival] did not want to screen it."

"I'm glad to see that foreign festivals and the public is so intensely interested in the phenomenon of nazism in our country."

Commenting about his experience of making the film, Georgousis said in February: "I was terrified that these members were proud to express their extreme ideas during campaigning openly in public. I was shocked by their hostility and by the way they treated immigrants in the Athenian squares."

Born in Athens in 1980, Georgousis holds a degree in social anthropology from Pantion University in Athens. In 2007 he did a postgraduate course in in visual anthropology and ethnographic documentary at the University of Manchester.

Having discovered his passion for documentary – his first production was Foreseeing in 2010 – he joined the National Film and Television School, from where he graduated from the school in March 2013.

Currently, his focus is on social and political aspects of the crisis and especially the rise of Golden Dawn.

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Bosnia
Golden Dawn
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