Red Hulk: A Modern Greek Tragedy of Dysfunction and Alienation

Sophia Sakellis

Abstract


Red Hulk, Asimina Proedrou’s 2013 multi-award-winning Greek short film, explores themes of identity, nationalism and xenophobia in a contemporary Greek setting. It is a hard-hitting exposé of a society in decline, where frustration at the failing institutions gives rise to racism, sexism, intolerance and violence in an effort to cleanse society of the foreign element which is blamed for all its dysfunction. The plot offers insights into how conceptualisations of difference can lead to violent action, and its underlying causes. With the absolute rupture between signifier and signified in the national symbols, values, codes and traditions, the issue of identity has become narrowly defined, all-encompassing and self-absorbing, resulting in the severing of ties between individuals, their families and friends, as exemplified in the film by its protagonist. His inevitable alienation from traditional supports leads him to seek refuge with a close-knit ultranationalist group linked to corrupt police, which operates under strict codes of secrecy outside of the law, and ensures its longevity by binding its members within a web of ultranationalist criminality. Within the conference theme of Un-framing Hellenism, we explore nationalism in a Greek context and attempt to de-stereotype the nationalists’ support base.

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