Greece, where men are men and sheep are nervous. That was the first ‘off color’ joke I remember ever telling. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, and I still don’t, since if school taught me one thing about ancient Greece, it’s that they liked to bugger boys and not baa-ers.
Of course a love story set in ancient Greece will not have this sort of pederasty at its heart. Especially one coming from the producer of 10,000 BC and the writer of Saving Private Ryan. The film is Olympia, and it tells a love story against the backdrop of the first Olympic games while Sparta and Athens waged war. The producer is Mark Gordon, who also worked with screenwriter Robert Rodat on The Patriot; current Wolverine director Gavin Hood did a rewrite on that script.
The most interesting thing here is that the director of the film will be Asger Leth, director of the documentary Ghosts of the Cite Soleil. That film was a gripping examination of gang leaders in Haiti’s most dangerous slums during the last days of Jean-Bertrand Aristede’s rule. So gripping and so narratively fasinating that I occasionally wondered how much of it was true – and I mean that in the most complimentary sense, as Leth captured an incredible story that I’m surprised hasn’t yet been turned into a narrative feature, filled with romance, violence, twists, turns and betrayals.