God Loves Caviar
|God Loves Caviar|
|Directed by||Yannis Smaragdis|
|Produced by||Eleni Smaragdi|
|Written by||Yannis Smaragdis|
God Loves Caviar (Greek: Ο Θεός αγαπάει το χαβιάρι, translit. O Theós agapáei to chaviári; in Russia known as Pirates of the Aegean Sea) is a 2012 Russo-Greek drama film directed by Yannis Smaragdis.
The film is based upon the true story of Ioannis Varvakis, a Greek caviar merchant and eventual benefactor from Psara who was formerly a pirate. He was born in Psara, and from an early age he learned to navigate the seas, an occupation revered and steeped in tradition on the island where he grew up. At the age of 17 he built his own ship, which he would later offer to the Russians during the Orlov Revolt. Ultimately, his ship was destroyed, and he turned to Saint Petersburg to ask for an audience with Catherine the Great. He was given compensation for the loss of his ship and granted authorization to fish freely in the Caspian Sea. Due to his superb navigational skills and excellent seamanship abilities, he dominated the Caspian Sea and soon became substantially wealthy. When he initially discovered the superior caviar of the Beluga Sturgeon, he quickly discerned that there could be an incredible market trading for this product. From the caviar trade he eventually became a millionaire and later donated part of his fortune for important works that improved the life of Russians and Greeks on the Black Sea coasts. In his later years, he became a member of the Filiki Eteria, which would contribute to the overthrow of the Ottoman rule of Greece. He died in 1825 in Zante, during the Greek War of Independence. After his death, his entire estate went to the Ioannis Varvakis Foundation which would offer up important grants throughout Greece. The script follows the entire life of Varvakis, but the film's narration begins with his final moments in Zante.
- Sebastian Koch as Ioannis Varvakis
- Evgeniy Stychkin as Ivan
- Juan Diego Botto as Lefentarios
- Olga Sutulova as Helena
- John Cleese as McCormick
- Catherine Deneuve as Empress Catherine II of Russia
- Akis Sakellariou as Kimon
- Alexandra Sakelaropoulou as Varvakis' Mother
- Fotini Baxevani
- Lakis Lazopoulos as Fisherman of God
- Pavlos Kontoyannidis
- Alexandros Mylonas as Temporary Prime Minister
- Yannis Vouros as Businessman A
- "God Loves Caviar". TIFF. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "N.Y.Times Review of God Loves Caviar". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "God Loves Caviar" by Iannis Smaragdis / Toronto 2012 review". flix.gr. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Ο Βαρβάκης". godlovescaviar.gr. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Παγκόσμια Πρεμιέρα της ταινίας "Ο Θεός αγαπάει το Χαβιάρι" στο Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Κινηματογράφου του Τορόντο.". godlovescaviar.gr. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "God Loves Caviar serves up a hero in Greece's hour of need". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015.