Astero (1929)

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The foustanella is a uniquely Greek form, often derisively referred to as a "sheep opera" about the struggles between farmers, shepherds, and ruthless land barons in the Greek countryside during the 1800s. Like the American frontier western, the foustanella follows rigid rules and story structure, only occasionally deviating from the requirements of genre. One of the first filmed foustanella romances, this early Greek silent took the melodramatic potential of the form about as far as it could go, and was remade famously in 1959. Set in a Peloponnesian village on the slopes of Helmos, Astero tells the story of a herd-owning family led by Mitros (Emilios Veakis), who marries his foster daughter Astero (Aliki Theodoridou) off to another herd owner, Stamos (Dimitris Tsakiris). Mitros's son Thimios (Konstantinos Moussouris) is heartbroken, because he loves Astero, and becomes even more upset when she goes crazy after Stamos is killed. Luckily, Mitros comes to his senses just as Astero does, and allows his two lovestruck kids to marry each other. Aside from the hugely successful remake, this original film was released in a sound version in 1944.