T' Arravoniasmata (1950)

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Greek filmmaker Maria Hadjinakou wrote and directed this adaptation of Dimiris Bogris's popular play about a young couple (Nikos Tzoyas, Margarita Yerardou) whose romance comes to a tragic end when they learn that they are really brother and sister. Bogris was one of the leading Greek playwrights of the '30s, and although this storyline would be repeated with minor variations in dozens of productions over the next twenty-odd years, this is one of the best treatments of the theme. Hadjinakou was the country's first female director, and had served as production manager for the 1948 classic Marinos Kondaras. Her visual sense and delicate touch (particularly in light of some of the tacky drivel which followed) elevate a potentially prurient theme into a touching and engaging romance. Emilios Veakis toplines with Elli Xanthaki and Dinos Eliopoulos.