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Colossi of Love - Meet the the Greek characters known as "kamaki"

Best Documentary Film Award at Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (2010)

Colossi of Love - Meet the the Greek characters known as "kamaki"

Around the mid-1970s, the dark days of the military junta were barely over, and tourism in Greece exploded. It is in this context that the "Kamaki" (literally "harpoon") comes into play.

The Greek macho appears in the places with the most female tourists. Raised in modest circumstances or in the country, the Kamaki follow a sophisticated clothing code that is based on the disco fashion of the time.

He uses his rudimentary English skilfully and extremely self-confidently in his seduction strategy. He likes to boast about his numerous foreign conquests. The Kamakis feel a strong sense of solidarity among themselves and submit to a certain code of honor. They even had their own syndicate in the port city of Nafplion in the Peloponnese.

During the 1980s, the Kamakis were drawn to Rhodes with a vengeance. The island is very popular as a holiday destination for Scandinavian, Dutch and German tourists. Locals and tourists mostly meet in the discotheques. There the Kamakis prefer to produce themselves on the dance floor. That's why disco music and ambience also play a central role in Nikos Mistriotis' documentation.

The Kamaki phenomenon spills over to the islands of Crete, Mykonos, Kos and Rhodes and lasts for two decades. In the 1980s, the cliché of the Greek Don Juan experienced its heyday in the media, providing the material for films such as "Summer Lovers" (1982) or "Shirley Valentine - Goodbye, My Dear Man" (1989).

Many vacationers were looking for the perfect lover to fulfill their summer fantasies. But surprisingly, thousands of binational marriages emerged from hot summer flirtations on the island of Rhodes. This in turn led to the establishment of the first international school in Greece.

In his documentary, the Greek filmmaker Nikos Mistriotis presents some former Kamakis and tells what became of them and how they live today.

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