“God Loves Caviar” is a new production about caviar, love and revolution, presenting a famous international cast including John Cleese, Catherine Deneuve, Juan Diego Botto, Sebastian Koch and Greek actor Lakis Lazopoulos.
Based on true events, the film tells the story of Ioannis Varvakis, a pirate in the Aegean Sea, who became a magnate caviar exporter in Russia and then, spiritually inspired, returned to Greece to give away his entire fortune to aid the 1821 revolution against the Ottoman Empire.
“For me as an actor its the different states in his life, to play that its wonderful of course, and what I said before the pirate is always in this man, he has still this strong energy in him, but he is getting almost religious, like a saint at the end” said staring Sebastian Koch, who had been awarded with a Golden Globe for 2006’s “Lives of Others”.
“God Loves Caviar” is directed and produced by Greek filmmaker Iannis Smaragdis, who is known for his other films on prominent Greek figures “Cavafy” and “El Greco”.
“I was moved by the fact that he was a person who became very rich but when he realized what God wanted from him in order to be satisfied with him, he did it. And essentially that is how he found happiness. I think the film makes the issue that anyone who is able to realize why they are in this process called life then they can be happy and come close to God, like Varvakis did” said Smaragdis, according to BigPondNews.
According to Reuters, the film’s timing is very poignant, as Varvakis’s life story has some interesting messages about patriotism, philanthropy and spiritual fulfillment at the same time Greece is going through an economic crisis.
The film’s production is mainly funded by private donors and its budget is estimated at almost 8 million Euros. Sony Pictures, the Hellenic Film Center and Greek National Television have also contributed in the funding of the film.
“Especially in Greece, and especially at this time when the country is being tested, people like Varvakis do not exist – I am afraid that they don’t exist.
Very wealthy people exist, especially from the shipping industry, who are consumed in if I may say so this foolish competition over who will have more ships. But the people during Varvaki’s period competed more for who would contribute more to their nation, or for the common good, or for charity” commented Smaragdis on the difficulty of shooting a film during crisis.
The Greek director expressed his hopes that his film will become a kind of positive motivation to the Greek people in terms of solidarity and self-sacrifice for good cause.