Golden Dawn Girls

Golden Dawn Girls

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 6:45pm
Community Partner(s)
Håvard Bustnes | 
Norway |
 2017 | 
94 minutes

The rise of the far right in Europe is a puzzling, terrifying phenomenon. Norwegian filmmaker Håvard Bustnes arrived in Greece to uncover why the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has become a legitimate political option for a significant percentage of Greek voters. The result is bizarre, chilling, and more than a little mesmerizing.

In an age when most Europeans are media savvy and familiar with documentary filmmaking, it is a little shocking that the three women profiled in Golden Dawn Girls (a mother, a wife, and a daughter of party bigwigs) give extensive interviews, and allowed their activities to be filmed. As Bustnes reports, they did not question him about his own politics or ideas before agreeing to the film. Instead, they believe that by showing their daily lives, they will help to humanize the movement and its ideology. Snippets of conversations before and after formal interviews, when the women seem unaware of the candid fly-on-the-wall footage being shot, provide the most insight and impact. Bustnes almost sees his mission as a rescue attempt, but his hope that the women will show compassion for humans outside their faction turns out to be naive. Perhaps the chaos in the Greek economy is enough to explain the appeal of Golden Dawn. Or perhaps, there are political masterminds in the organization who hid from Bustnes. Either way, the film is a profoundly disturbing peek inside a troubling phenomena and its membership. -KR


Håvard Bustnes

Director Håvard Bustnes is a multi award winning director and producer. He holds a degree in Directing for Television from the College of Film and TV at Lillehammer, Norway. His new film Golden Dawn Girls premiered in the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary in November 2017. Earlier films include Two Raging Grannies, Health Factory, and the feature documentary Big John (Academy Awards Amanda for best theatrical documentary film, Best Nordic Documentary Prize at Nordic Panorama). His films have been broadcast on ZDF (Germany), Arte (France), FR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), VPRO (Netherland), Chanel 8 (Israel), ORF (Austria), SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), TV4 (Ireland), TVP (Poland), Aljazeera Documentary Chanel (Qatar) and NHK (Japan). His films have been selected to more than 70 festivals all over the world, and two of his films had theatrical release in Norway, Denmark, Taiwan and South Korea.