Aglaia Mitropoulou

Aglaia Mitropoulou, 64, critic and founder of the Greek Film Archives, died Jan. 21 in Athens of a heart attack.

Mitropoulou, born in Athens, studied business and literature before emerging as a theater critic for the magazine Greece in 1954. She continued writing for periodicals Greek Creation and Choice. Besides translating plays, she and her sister Mona co-wrote the play “The Representatives,” which was translated into French and performed in Paris in 1962. Mitropoulou wrote the comprehensive “History Of Greek Cinema.”

In 1950, she founded the first film archives in Greece (I Teniothiki Tis Elladas), remaining president until her death 40 years later. During the ’60s, when commercial cinemas were glutted with mainstream American movies, Mitropoulou is credited with introducing significant European directors such as Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman and Dusan Makavejev, as well as leading figures of Brazilian “Cinema Nova” and Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, to scores of film students, filmmakers and cinephiles.

During the junta period (1967 to 1974), banned films were smuggled into the country in diplomatic pouches and shown at great risk at clandestine screenings.

Mitropoulou also publicized Greek cinema through exchange programs held at foreign film archives.

Survived by her sister and daughter, Maria.

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