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4 Votes (2.3)
Bordello (1985)
Μπορντέλο (original title)
Fiction, 130 min
Production country   Greece
Language   Greek
Director   Nikos Koundouros
Scriptwriters   Nikos Koundouros, Marios Pontikas
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Crete 1897. The Greek rebels have gained their freedom in their mountains and they are now demanding that the Great Powers recognize the end of Turkish domination of the island. An Allied fleet of French, English, Italian and Russian warships is anchored in the port of Chania under the pretext of protecting the Greek and Turkish inhabitants. Rosa Bonaparte, accompanied by twelve girls, disembarks on a deserted beach with all the equipment of a Marseilles brothel. They install themselves in a wing of an enormous half-ruined ex-Town Hall where the officers of the Allied fleet fraternise and disport themselves in the evenings surrounded by secret and open agents, army contractors, profiteers and camp followers: an East-West mosaic of language, costume and intrigue. We are shown a woman at the beginning of the end of her long and glorious, if infamous, career. We meet Vassilis, a young rebel disappointed in the revolution, Sarah the Jewess, Emma, Antigone and the other girls, all prisoners of their fates, all haunted by their pasts. There is also the English Captain Mason, the Russian Semionof, the Turk Ibrahim Esat and their Cretan friend Homiros Stratakis, all of them theatrical, surreal characters revolving around the thirteen courtesans stranded in a deserted port. Vassilis, driven to despair, kills and is killed. Sarah hangs herself. The house burns down and the women leave for various Oriental ports. Rosa remains alone, dreaming of a house with a big window where she can watch the ships that come and go. The characters in this film are fictitious but place, time and historical events are authentic. The Cretan revolt against Ottoman rule in 1897 is a fact. It is also a fact that the Allied fleets of France, Italy, Russia and England landed troops on Crete in an attempt to keep control of the island. Crete's command of the sea-routes connecting west and east made it as vital then as it is now. Following the trail of war, adventurers and racketeers came from all parts of Europe to assemble in the ports and harbours of the island, and it is an historical truth that in April of 1897 the whole establishment of a Marseilles brothel disembarked at the port of Chania and set up house there catering for officers of the Allied troops. In \\\\\\\"Zorba the Greek\\\\\\\", Kazantzakis writes of the last years in the life of an old whore called Madame Hortense. Part fact, part fiction, she passed into history until brought to life again on the screen by Lila Kedrova in Cacoyannis' film. Here, in our film, the glamorous Madame is found at the height of her glory, played by Marina Vlady. Her name is Rosa Bonaparte.
Technical Specifications Image / Sound
Color / Black & White   Color
Sound format   Mono
Aspect ratio   1.33:1
Production format   35mm
Distribution format   35mm
Production country
Films of Nikos Koundouros
The Ogre of Athens
Young Aphrodites
Byron, Ballad for a Daemon
The Photographers
A Ship to Palestine
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