CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN
About The Production (Continued)
"At the center of the story is the relationship between father and daughter which survives
everything and heals the wounds of history," said Madden. "Dr. Iannis' voice — his experience, his sense of loss and his belief in his daughter — becomes the voice of the island, a place which builds on the rubble of the past a future of hope and renewal.
'The concept of healing is integral to the vocation of medicine and to the mythology of Cephallonia. The father's intervention provides the balm that heals. That is why he writes the letter to Corelli," the director explained.
"The story to some extent is about the balance between practical ideology and humanism," he continued. "Dr.
Iannis is not a religious person, yet the moral heart of the film resides in him. He and Corelli have a natural affinity because this is true of him as well.
Iannis immediately senses that Corelli, despite being the aggressor and occupier. is a man worthy of his daughter."
John Hurt grew a proper moustache for his role. "The Greeks are very proud of their moustaches," he noted. The actor also mastered an
accent, aided by voice coach Joan Washington and by time spent on the island. "The 'noise' one makes is extraordinarily important,"
Hurt wryly observed. "We remember people by the sound of their voices, not just by their faces. There's no cut-and-dried scientific way
of getting there. I listen all the time. Greek is a very polemical language, with lots
of short vowels.
"Dr. Iannis is the sage of the piece," he continued. "Though very much a member of his society, he also stands somewhat outside. The
community is religious. but he is not. His passions for his daughter, his people and his work are enormous. and he recognizes that Corelli is less interested in being a conqueror than in the glories
As for filming on the island of Cephallonia, he said, "I sat and looked at the picture postcard view across the bay and then it
drifted across my mind that these very extraordinary things happened really not that long ago. certainly within my lifetime."
The story has many threads but for Hurt it is essentially about love. "It's not sentimental or romantic, but it is about love, and about the fact that if it weren't for love, there would be no point in living."
One of the great Greek tragediennes of her time, Irene Papas. who plays Drosoula, did not have to stretch as far as the other actors to absorb the story's setting or its cultural and historical nuances. Still, she did her homework. "The book describes Drosoula as coming from Asia Minor which is a different culture
from the Greek " she explained. "The people there are very clean and refined, and dress completely differently."
Christian Bale, who plays Drosoula's son, enjoyed working opposite the legendary actress. "She's like a force of nature — singing all the time, making jokes. And she couldn't hold back when she had to berate me in scenes," he laughed, "so I said 'go br it.' I can now say I have been slapped,
and bitten. by the great Irene Papas."
The role of Mandras, the Greek partisan, is one Bale especially relished. "Of all the characters, he is the one who most symbolizes Greece, and I was told
this constantly by the locals," said the actor. As the story opens, Mandras is a fisherman. "He has lived a simple, harmonious
life, knowing everyone and being known, until the war introduced him to the world outside Cephallonia," said Bale. "What he found would have been
confusing to the most sophisticated person, let alone someone who'd led such a simple
David Morrissey is equally passionate about his incredibly difficult character, the German
officer Weber, and created a detailed genealogical back- story for him. "We must always remember, in histor
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