I spent the month of July with my family in Nicosia, Cyprus to work on a film based on my husband John's book Kinyras the Divine Lyre. I lived in Cyprus from 1999-2003, a formative time: I published two books, worked on many excavations, and met friends, including John. Returning there is like coming home.
John went to Cyprus three weeks ahead to write and plan scenes with director Stavros Papageoghiou of Tetraktys FIlms. The film explores the sites, myths, and activities associated with Kinyras, legendary lyre-playing king of Bronze Age Cyprus: ancient copper mining and working, perfume production, sea-faring, and music. Kinyras is known for having promised to send 50 ships to the Trojan war, but sent only one, and instead threw 49 clay model ships into the sea.
I have several roles in the project: I'm in the background drawing as John speaks with such experts as Jacqueline Karageoghis, Lina Kassianidou, Giorgos Papasavvas, and Sophokles Hadjisavvas. I drew (among other things) a Bronze Age sanctuary wall, the pit of Skouriotissa Copper Mine, and a replica of an ancient perfume distillery.
I'm part of the action in scenes where John and I visit sites around the island (including Amathus, Alassa, Skouriotissa, Petra tou Romiou, and Maa-Palaeokastro). At the Kinyras Taverna and hotel that very generously hosted us for a Romantic Dinner, we toasted the legacy of Kinyras on camera and ate delicious Cypriot specialties. After we filmed the Romantic Dinner scene, a group of Australian kids who watched the filming as they were also having dinner in the taverna, mobbed me saying, "Have you been in lots of documentaries?" (Yes, one: I was in the background of a documentary with Alan Alda about copper smelting filmed in Cyprus in 1999.)
My other role in this film is to create source drawings of the myths of Kinyras that will be animated by Stavros Christophorou. I'm excited to see these come to life.
Through the long hours, heat, and many takes, we had a great time with Stavros and his crew: Hektor Papageorghiou (camera), Marius (sound), and Ana Perfeito (assistant filmmaker). I'm also VERY grateful to Bronwen Hudson who came from Oxford for 10 days and hung out with the kids while the filming was happening. She kept us going the rest of the time with humor and cheer: "Hey hey hey, watermel-LOwn."