The residents of a poor neighbourhood in Piraeus are asked to leave as modernization will take place. The prostitutes of one of the many brothels are preparing to move on. The camera follows their individual stories, their misery, shattered dreams and hopes for a better future.
C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933) was a Greek poet who wrote exquisitely about his beloved cities, Alexandria and Constantinople, and about the beautiful, sexually available men who lived in them. Thanks to Lawrence Durrell’s frequent favorable mention of him in his popular novels The Alexandria Quartet, Cavafy has become a figure of considerable literary interest outside of Greek and homosexual circles. Part biography, part fantasy, but very much in the spirit of the poet’s work, this film begins in 1933 as a young literateur reads to Cavafy, lying abed in an Alexandrian hospital. Cavafy drifts away into memories from his life and the film takes up his story from childhood.
A young man with ideals, equipped with a high-school diploma, dreams of a quiet and honest life. Nevertheless, being unable to find a job and facing the problems of unemployment, he gets involved in a ring of thieves. The hoodlums organize a major heist. Lefteris agrees to take part in order to solve his money problems and live happily with his girl. Things, however, do not develop smoothly.
A few days before Filippos leaves London for a holiday on Crete, a Greek island, he sees that his girlfriend is cheating with his brother. He does not tell them anything about it, but during the holidays Filippos’ brother disappears without a trace. Both Alexis, who is a homosexual and secretly in love with Filippos’ brother, and his girlfriend put pressure on Filippos to indicate what he knows about the disappearance. However, Filippos sees this as the start of a dangerous game.
Tony, a con man, blackmailer and card cheater, returns to Greece and meets an old flame, Mary, whom he got rid of years ago and who never recovered from his betrayal, ending up a prostitute and nightclub singer. Mary has a daughter with the husband she abandoned for Tony’s sake but is not allowed to have any contact with her. When Tony schemes to ruin her daughter’s marriage and blackmail the father, Mary decides to stop him although she’s sick, helpless and still in love with him.
A young boy runs away from the reformatory school, intending to look for his mother who lives in Athens separated from his father for the last 5 years. The boy hides in a house where he becomes friends with a young girl and her brother. They hide him until he meets his parents again.
A highly respected surgeon and University Professor becomes infatuated with a pretty young acrobat he meets accidentally in the park one evening. He quits his practice, dumping all his patients and dedicates his life to offering her a new home, money and his passionate love, also trying to sponsor her stage career in any possible way. She takes all he gives but it’s never enough for her and she doesn’t really have to give back much because the old man is head over heels in love with her.
A film about the imagination. The present of man is extremely limited. He has been excluded from the future and even the past is nothing more than a source of gentle memories. Without bitterness he tries to make a last move. A move that may not actually exist, but gives some hope for a wildcard.