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God Loves Caviar - Directed by Iannis Smaragdis

God Loves Caviar
Iannis Smaragdis

God Loves Caviar - GR Trailer

Catherine Deneuve, Sebastian Koch and John Cleese are among the international cast of Iannis Smaragdis’ 'God Loves Caviar'.

Review Summary
Ioannis Varakis journey from humble Greek pirate to international caviar millionaire, with the ear of Catherine the Great of Russia. His wealth and power, however, do not give him contentment, and his boundless ambition only brings suffering, until he gives everything away, including himself. As a young man in his twenties, Varvakis prizes above all his freedom, neglecting his young family to captain his pirate boat. Out on the sea is where he feels most at home, subject to no constraints.

When Lefentarios brings an invitation to fight the Turkish occupiers of Greece alongside the famous Russian captain Count Orlov, Varvakis is tempted by the thrill of adventure. In a grand, heroic mission, he sets fire to his new boat then sails it into the heart of the Turkish fleet, routing the enemy, only to be later captured himself. Escaping from a Turkish jail, Varvakis finds favour at the court of Catherine the Great, who rewards him with a fishing licence in the Caspian sea. Soon he is a wealthy businessman, rich enough to buy the freedom of a slave - Ivan - who is being mistreated, and a lifelong friendship is born.

Meanwhile he also keeps in touch with Lefentarios, sending money through him to those struggling for Greek independence. Despite his achievements, Varvakis is restless and unhappy. Is his mission in life merely to make lots of money? At this low point he meets a mysterious fisherman who draws his attention to caviar, the preserved eggs of the ancient sturgeon. Caviar has, of course, been known for many years, but Varvakis, inspired by this transcendent delicacy, now sets about turning it into a real business. This, too, is a great success, and soon Varvakis is even richer and more powerful, involved in Catherine the Great's stratagems to extend Russian power in the region. But Lefentarios pushes him to lead the Greek independence movement instead, insisting this is his real destiny.

Varvakis falls in love, marries and has a son, Andreas, but his wife doesn't love him and their marriage ends in betrayal. The years are passing and the young pirate is now turning into an old man. Lefentarios returns for a last attempt to persuade him to lead the Greek rebellion. Varvakis again refuses, and the two men part as enemies. But Varvakis is seized by a new ambition to do it his way, and turn his son into the returning saviour of his country. After a long struggle, his dreams only end in tragedy, and the death of Andreas. Heart-broken, Varvakis seems about to end his life, when a transforming moment brings new hope and belief.

From now on, he seeks to serve and in all his actions to do God's work. He gives everything away - his trading licences, his fortune - and returns to Greece with Ivan, to offer help and service to the suffering victims of oppression and war. Now that he is beyond worldly ambition he is more popular and dangerous than ever, and Lefentarios is instructed by the British, one of the powers circling for influence over Greece, to remove him. This true epic tale moves from the Greek island of Psara to the court of Catherine the Great in Russia and the shores of the Caspian Sea, and then back to Greece, a country torn by civil war and the fight for independence, during the Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. ~ Baseline StudioSystems.

Production Credits
Director - Iannis Smaragdis
Director of Photography - Aris Stavrou
Screenplay - Jackie Pavlenko
Screenplay - Iannis Smaragdis
Screenplay - Vladimir Valutsky
Unit Production Manager - Vicky Nikolettou
Line Producer - Albert Espel
Editor - George Mavropsarides
Costume Designer - Lala Huete
Score: Minos Matsas

Company Information
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Worldwide Distribution Rights
Feelgood Entertainment - Foreign Theatrical Distributor
Alexandros Film - Production Company
Greek Film Centre (GFC) - Production Company
Hellenic Radio & Television (ERT) - Production Company
Stella Studios - Production Company

Visit: God Loves Caviar | Alexandros Film