SEARCHING FOR ANDREAS: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis

A film by Harris Mylonas

In 2012, I started reading a new biography of Andreas Papandreou written by Stan Draenos, an independent scholar and political analyst based in Athens, Greece. His book, Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick, was the original impetus behind making this documentary. I turned to my friend Magnus Briem, who had recently established a production company, and suggested that we work on a documentary on Andreas. Stan Draenos also agreed to help us out.

The first year we worked on a biographical documentary. However, with the economic crisis in Greece not abating and the political crisis deepening, a merely biographical documentary about Andreas was becoming harder and harder to justify to ourselves. At this point, I turned to Theo Prodromidis, a talented director and a good friend, and together with Stan and Magnus we brainstormed for a while.

The film is no longer just about Andreas’ life. Ultimately, the film is a cautionary tale that considers the pitfalls of charismatic leadership. But it is also about the limits of democratic politics under economic globalization.  Four years later, I have come to realize that in order for Greece to be able to overcome its predicament, it must first come to terms with its political past, and thus, Andreas’ legacy.

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