The City and the City

BY Christos Passalis AND Syllas Tzoumerkas


The untold story of the life and perils of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, in six chapters. The past and the present of a city, meet and converge at its cracks.

Vassilis Kanakis, Alexandros Vardaxoglou, Angeliki Papoulia, Argyris Xafis, Niki Papandreou, Vassilis Karaboulas, Themis Bazaka, Maria Filini, Laertis Malkotsis, Fritz Fenne, Jakob Leo Stark, Marisha Triantafyllidou, Fidel Talaboukas, Aris Armaganidis, Zoi Sigalou, Marina Siotou, Danai Primali, Andronikos Christaras, Michalis Kimonas, Vasia Bakakou, Nikos Chortarias, Andreas Stavrakakis, etc.

Η Πόλη και η Πόλη | Ι Póli ke i Póli, feature film, dcp, 87′, Greece

World premiere
72nd Berlin International Film Festival  – Encounters Competition

Festivals / Awards
New Directors New Films 2022 – MoMA and Film at Lincoln Center (North-American premiere), 24th TDF – Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Special Screenings – Out of Competition, JxJ – Washington Jewish Film and Music Festival 2022, Crossing Europe – Linz 2022, LAGFF 2022, Dokufest Prizren 2022, Zerkalo IFF 2022, Linea d’Ombra IFF 2022, Miami Jewish Film Festival 2023, etc.,  2 Hellenic Film Academy Awards Nominations 2023 – Best Documentary, Best Costume Design

World press
“An absorbing and appropriately disturbing indictment of man’s inhumanity to man. (…) A heartfelt, sorrowful and elegiac love-letter to Thessaloniki, which before the Second World War was a dazzlingly polyglot cosmopolis.”
-Neil Young, Screen Daily 

“The genius in The City and the City is the seemingly nonchalant and subtle amalgamation of the past and the present. The two cities in the name of the film refer to one singular Thessaloniki. It is the time that creates the duality, and not the space.Passalis and Tzoumerkas employ an ingenious technique here.”
-Suvo Pyne, High on Films

“***** – The creative choices employed by co-directors Syllas Tzoumerkas and Christos Passalis have led to a non-traditional war film that feels quite radical in the most beguiling way.”
-Oliver Johnston, The Upcoming

“**** – A brutal reimagining of true events that befell the Jews of Thessaloniki will shock you with cruelty, while also hypnotising you with beauty. (…) An incredibly humanistic film that covers a difficult subject, but does so with great respect, ambition, and a whole lot of beauty.”
-John McDonald, Dirty Movies

“****1/2 – Cinematically brilliant and thematically relevant”
-Meredith Taylor, FilmUforia

“A stylistically eclectic mix of documentary, fiction and essay united by its topic: the extermination of the Jewish population of Thessaloniki. The City and the City is really about the geography of memory and even more about the Thessaloniki of today than that of the past.”
-Vladan Petković, Cineuropa

“7/10 – Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas spotlight the seldom-told story of how a city that had been multicultural since ancient times had its Jewish population all but eradicated almost instantly. (…) No punches are pulled.”
-Bradley Gibson, Film Threat

“*** – In this unsettling mea culpa, the Jewish community’s loss and fear are palpable.”
-Alex Goldstein, One Room With A View

“Alternating between staging, re-enactment and documentation, The City and the City reviews impressively the story of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki.”
-Thomas Hummitzsch, Intellectures (DE)

“A fragmented ode to the city of Thessaloniki. Only the city as a collective entity bears witness to the full extent of what happened, spilling over onto the present and generating a sense of urban memory and sorrow.”
-Tommaso Tocci, Montages International Edition

Video interviews
Christos Passalis’ and Syllas Tzoumerkas’ Berlinale meets… interview   by Sergio Fant

Christos Passalis’ and Syllas Tzoumerkas’ Cineuropa interview by Ana Stanic, Sylvie Lazzarini

Χρήστος Πασσαλής και Σύλλας Τζουμέρκας, συνέντευξη στο Nerdcult και τον Αλέξανδρο Παπαγεωργίου

Christos PassalisSyllas Tzoumerkas

Christos Passalis, Syllas Tzoumerkas

Director of photography
Simos Sarketzis

Yorgos Zafiris

Costume designers
Marli Aliferi, Vassilia Rozana

Art director
Christos Passalis

Sound recordists 
Nikos Exarchos, Dimitris Kanellopoulos

Sound design & sound mixing 
Persefoni Miliou. Costas Varybobiotis

Hair & make-up designers
Ioulia Sigrimi, Evi Zafiropoulou

VFX designer 
Pantelis Anastassiadis

Executive producers
Christos Passalis, Syllas Tzoumerkas

Orestis Andreadakis

Maria Drandaki

Greek National Opera, Homemade Films

With the collaboration of
Thessaloniki International Film Festival

With the support of
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN), Claims Conference, Deutsch-Griechischen Zukunftsfonds, Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung, EKOME, Cultural Centre of the Region of Central Macedonia, MOMus, Greek Film Centre, Jewish Community of Thessaloniki

and the collaboration of 
City of Athens Film Office, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Municipality of Thermaikos

World sales
Syndicado Film Sales

Weird Wave (Greece)