Skip to main content

A MATTER OF DIGNITY

Greece, 1958 (MIFF 1959, Programme 9)

Director: Michael Cacoyannis

A Matter of Dignity tells of a bourgeois family on the verge of bankruptcy, pinning all their hopes on their daughter's catching a rich husband.

The Pellas mansion is gripped in an atmosphere of falsehood and hysteria, set by Cleon's wife. Roxane. whose efforts to keep up a facade of social activity plunge the household deeper and deeper into debt. When the bank serves final notice, the catastrophe seems unavoidable. Pathetically, Roxane begins to play on her daughter's emotions. The tragedy lies in the character of this girl — played beautifully by Ellie Lambetti (of Girl in Black fame) -: who, endowed with a little more perception and intelligence and sensitivity than the rest of her superficial world, is still ready to sacrifice herself and everyone else to the sham of it all. Some shrewd observation of bourgeois pretensions, and a climactic scene, remarkably photographed by Walter Lassally, provide one of the most visually exciting sequences in cinema to date.

See also...

WINDFALL IN ATHENS

The appeal of this film, first screened to an English-speaking audience at the 1954 Edinburgh Festival, lies not in its technical qualities but in the capacity of its director to present through ... More »

A GIRL IN BLACK

A Girl in Black is the third and most considerable film of Michael Cacoyannis, the young Greek director. It is a fresh honest film with an ambitiously simple theme, the central situation of which is ... More »

Sophie and the Scales

A wordless sermon on the perils of pedagogy. Sophie is a quiet little girl who doesn't like her music lessons. . . ... More »

Sandcastles

An observation of a six-year-old who builds fantastic sand structures— and of his elders! ... More »

CUBA

Richard Lester made his name directing The Beatles in their two good fiSms, consolidated his reputation with a series of out and thrust comedies and, for several years now, has proved himself adept ... More »

A Goal in Life

A stream of demonstrators carrying placards and flags moves purposefully across the screen from right to left. There is only one man walking in the opposite direction carrying a flag. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director