The film Smyrna 1922 by Nikos Koundouros was made in 1978. Based on real events from the book 'The Number 31328' by Elias Venezis, it details the prejudice, the agony and the mistreatment of Asia Minor Greeks by Turkish forces in 1922. The film unfolds through the personal tragedies of 3 characters. The wife of a merchant, a teacher and a 17 year old boy. In the death marches which ensue, the teacher will be murdered by a Turk, the wife of the merchant will lose her senses, and only the young boy will survive.
Based on the book The Number 31328 subtitled 'the book of slavery' by Elias Venezis
Elias Venezis was born Elias Mellos in 1904 in Ayvali, Asia Minor. The
Mellos family fled to Lesbos (Greece) during the First World War to
escape persecution but returned to Ayvali in 1919 after the Greek Army
landed it's troups in Asia Minor following the Great War. Venezis
graduated from high school in Ayvali but immediately afterwards was
taken hostage by the Turks and sent to work in forced labour batalions
(Amele Taburu). In his book, he describes the conditions he was forced
to endure during that time. Of the 3000 men of Ayvali sent to the
labour batalions, only 23 survived. One of those was Elias Venezis.
Best Director - Thessaloniki International Film Festival 1978 Best Director - Cape-Town World Cinema Festival 1982 Best original Screenplay (Ioannis Vellidis) - Greek Film Center 1978
The film screened at the London Film Festival (1981), Melbourne
International Film Festival (1982), Mostra of Valencia Cinema of
Mediterrani (1982) and the Saint Etienne Film Festival (1983).