The story of Minamata, as well as its approach through the camera of W. Eugene Smith, had a powerful impact on artist and director Andrew Levitas.

The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation will host the multidisciplinary project Minamata, by distinguished director and artist Andrew Levitas, in October. Focusing on the environment and humanity’s relationship with nature, the project includes the avant-première of Andrew Levitas’ biopic Minamata, a sculpture installation, a Filmmaking Masterclass conducted by Levitas and a discussion.

The source of inspiration behind the entire project was renowned American photojournalist W. Eugene Smith. In the 1970s, Smith, armed with his camera, documented the devastating effects of industrial pollution caused by the Chisso Corporation in the Japanese town Minamata. The photo essay he published in 1975, together with his second wife (Minamata – A Warning to the World), played a key role in highlighting the serious health problems the local population was suffering from and subsequently bringing justice to the victims. The story of Minamata, as well as its approach through the camera of W. Eugene Smith, had a powerful impact on artist and director Andrew Levitas.

Minamata: the movie

On Wednesday October 20, the Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, in collaboration with Odeon, will host the avant-première of Andrew Levitas’ biopic Minamata, who has also co-written the script, together with David Kessler, Stephen Deuters and Jason Forman. The film stars award-winning actor Johnny Depp as W. Eugene Smith, joined by well-known British actor Bill Nighy, and actress and artist Minami. The film will open in Greek movie theatres on Thursday, October 21.

Portrait of the artist Andrew Levitas. Snapshot from the filming of Minamata.

Sculpture Installation

The sculpture installation will go on display at the B&E Foundation’s temporary exhibitions area from October 21 through November 28, 2021. Andrew Levitas, with seven large metal sculptures, highlights themes related to man’s relationship with nature and mankind’s technological advancement. Marie Koutsomallis-Moreau is the curator of the installation. Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00, Friday: 10:00-20:00, Monday and Tuesday closed

Andrew Levitas, Cradle of life, 2021, Sculpture with the method Metalwork Photography® 325 x 152 x 175 cm


At the same time, from October 21 through October 24, Andrew Levitas will conduct a Filmmaking Masterclass titled The Artist’s Mind. It is addressed to students and professionals who are active in arts, filmmaking, photography and theatre, as well as anyone seeking to expand their knowledge and experiment with art and filmmaking.

Discussions at the Museum

Finally, a discussion titled Environmental awareness through art will take place on Sunday October 24 at 19:00, with the participation of the Executive Director of the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation Dr. Angeliki Kosmopoulou, the Artistic Director of the Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (PCAI) Kika Kyriakakou, director Lefteris Haritos and Andrew Levitas. Radio producer and Managing Director of the ATHENS 9,84 radio station Margarita Mytilineou will coordinate the discussion.