FAR RIGHT: An important trial sets the stage for how to action against modern fascism.
Golden Dawn – A Public Affair Director: Angélique Kourounis Producer: Angélique Kourounis Country: Greece Review written by Marc Molas Carol JUNE 22, 2021
Golden Dawn – A Public Affair follows up on the 2016 documentary Golden Dawn – A Personal Affair by Angelique Kourounis, taking the murder of Pavlos Fyssas as a lead event to contend about the reasons for the rise of Nazi ideology in Greece, and to follow up all the way to the criminalisation and conviction of Golden Dawn.
While the 2016 documentary took a more intimate stance, filled with a sense of shock by a narrator that confesses herself obsessed with bearing witness, Golden Dawn – A Public Affair is a more solid, interview based, factual account of the developments of the following years—clearly felt in the production quality, pace, and composure this new film displays.
While the first documentary was directed by someone in shock trying to understand, this is shot by someone resolute in demonstrating the likes of Golden Dawn have to be fought and can be defeated.
Greece or ashes
Democracy, just like tolerance, is hindered when it concedes a space to intolerance or anti-democratic parties. As we are reminded by some of the more illustrious journalists in this documentary, Nazism is very much a soufflé inflated by the media, undeservedly supporting fringe options.
Actions like blood donations or food distributions serve as a cloak to introduce ideology on desperate people, but only a tiny group inside Golden Dawn are actually killers or even identify with the hardcore xenophobic, violent, and dictatorial views of their ideologues.
Golden Dawn, the more openly Nazi party that has managed to get parliamentary representation in Europe in the last decade, manages to ride the discontent of a 28% unemployment rate, the rage of a population that sees their jobs, savings, and futures squandered by the political class under the weight of international interests.
Golden Dawn exists because society and the justice and political systems have not done enough to avoid their expansion.
Honour, blood, Golden Dawn
The origins of this Hellenistic Nazi party trail directly back to the German occupation and the Security Battalions, created as a collaborator force that consistently became the executive arm of an oppressive «civil war» system.
By the end of the dictatorship of the Greek Colonels, the newfound democracy reformed the armed forces but did not purge the police. Thus, it is in the riot police and the security forces where Golden Dawn finds a mixture of Hellenistic expansionist dreams, dictatorship nostalgia, and a taste for violence to feed into the Assault Troops.
This scenario is all too familiar, as Kourounis reminds us once and again: Golden Dawn exists because society and the justice and political systems have not done enough to avoid their expansion.
The acquiescence of the population with the Assault Troops attacking immigrants and marching through the streets has a direct result in whitewashing the public view and permitting the media to overrepresent the party’s more prominent members.
Pavlos Fyssas’ murder was not the first one, but it serves as a catalyst for the great trial to come forth, after 32 unsuccessful attempts at indicting Golden Dawn. In the case of Fyssas, someone was called to execute the murder. And that’s the undeniable telltale of a criminal organisation. It is this single event that allows a prosecution to demand all cases be joined together in a single suit against Golden Dawn as a criminal organisation.
Michaloliakos, the «little fürer» of Golden Dawn was escorted out of his apology in court, in 2019, among chants of support and applause, while the other half of the court yelled against the fascists and riot standing in the middle of the courthouse in the 4th year of the long trial.
What we see unfolding is the effort of a society that gradually takes awareness of the dangers of neo-Nazism unleashed, and takes steps to valiantly self-organise once the veil of innocence is lifted and the ugly . . .