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Nikos Kazantzakis
Writer born in Iraklion

N. Kazantzakis with Melina Merkouri
and Jules Dassin (Canes-1957)
Movies based on Kazantzakis' novels


Celui qui doit mourir (He who must die) (1957)
Kazantzakis' novel The Greek Passion becomes a film under the title "He who must die" and is presented in the Canes festival of 1957. The film was a French - Italian production, and was directed by Jules Dassin. One of the key roles was performed by Melina Merkouri.

Alexis Zorbas (1964)
The film was produced by 20th Century Fox and directed by Mihalis Kakoyiannis. It was based on the novel of Nikos Kazantzakis Zorba the Greek (1946).
According to the script an Englishman finds he has a small inheritance in Crete. When he arrives in Crete, to claim it, he meets Zorbas, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life.The movie is centered on the personal relationship between these two characters, and the way the Englishman, changes his view on life, influenced by Zorbas' day to day behavior. Anthony Quinn gave a unique performance as Alexis Zorbas. He also invented a new Greek dance during the film, as he had a broken foot and could not perform a vivid dance on the beach as the script required. Instead he performed a slow dance, and when he was asked by the director what that dance was, he made up a name and claimed it was a traditional dance.

Zorba the Greek: The Movie

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Produced by Universal Pictures and directed by the famous director Martin Scorsese, this film was based on Nikos Kazantzakis novel The Last Temptation of Christ (1955). Jesus of Nazareth (played by William Dafoe), sets out to find what God wills of him . He feels guilt for his profession (making crosses for the Romans), is tormented by demons, feels pity for his fellow man and hears the constant call of God. But as his mission nears fulfillment, he finds out he must face up to the greatest temptation of all : leading the normal life of a good man. The film caused a widespread protest from conservative members of Christian organizations. The protests with regard to this story carry a long history as, when the book was published in 1955, it was banned by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Last Temptation of Christ: The Movie




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