Film on YouTube - "Good Night, Socrates" - (Destruction of small Greek community in Chicago)


(Good Night, Socrates)

"Kali Nikta, Socrates" ("Goodnight, Socrates") by Maria Moraites and Stewart Hagmann is a story-documentary film about the destruction of a small Greek community in Chicago to make way for urban renewal. As the film was being shot, the neighborhood was being razed to make space for the Kennedy Expressway and the new campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. It captures the real-life destruction of buildings and culture as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy of Greek descent. Northwestern University theatre students Stuart Hagmann and Maria Moraites made the film with a grant from the North Shore Film Society. It went on to win the Golden Lion, or first prize, at the 1962 Venice International Film Festival. Apparently Jean Renoir "liked the film very much," while John Houseman found the narration "egregious." We'll let you judge for yourself!

Original: 16mm., B&W, Sound, found in Chicago Film Archives' Chicago Public Library Collection