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Greece, 2015

Original music : Selofan Production : Paola Team Documentaries

Programmed by The Douarnenez Festival team


French, English, Italian

People and struggles in Greece


“Kaliarnta” tells the story of a secret slang language invented by Greek prostitutes. Used as a means of protection, this language was, in turn, adopted by transsexual women and homosexuals during years of extreme repression.

Tënk's opinion

The transgender militant and influential figure of the Greek LGBT movement Paola Revenioti offers us the first and unique documentary to tell the story of kaliarnta. Born during the 1940s, this secret slang invented by Greek prostitutes as a means of protection was, in turn, adopted by transsexual women and homosexuals during the years of extreme repression, in particular the military dictatorship (1967-1974). Use of this "slang" continued, equally in Athens and throughout Greece up to the 1980s – in particular in renowned sites of homosexual flirting and prostitution. Whilst the project started as a simple documentation of the history of kaliarnta, it rapidly appeared obvious that it was closely linked with Athens’ gay life in general in the 1970s and 1980s. Offering a voice to those who are obliged to hide their genuine identity in order to be socially accepted, and proposing interviews by theoreticians, this documentary embraces the life of the Greek homosexual community throughout the 20th century.

The Douarnenez Festival team


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