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9. Dead presumed missing ?  

Cemetery in Nicosie


Direction:  Colette Piault & Paul Sant Cassia
color, 40', 2003
Shot  in DV , distributed in Beta SP,VHS PAL and NTSC
Original version : English and Greek (English subtitles) 


Distributed on DVD PAL

  Video trailer (3 MB)



Anthropology and Interviews : Paul Sant Cassia
Camera and editing : Colette Piault
Virtual editing : Dominique Czarny
Production :  University of Durham  &  Les Films du Quotidien
Post Production : Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires, Centre d'Ethnologie Française



This film is about the problem of Missing Persons in Cyprus. Between 1963-74, some 2000 persons disappeared in Cyprus. First, some 500 Turkish Cypriots disappeared between 1963-64 and 1974, during hostilities between the two communities.  Then, following an abortive coup in 1974, Turkey invaded and occupied the north of the island. Some 200,000 Greek Cypriots, a third of the population, fled their homes, becoming refugees in the south.

During the Turkish invasion, some 1600 Greek Cypriots disappeared. Many died in the war, but their bodies were never recovered. Others  (including women and children) disappeared behind the advancing Turkish army. Turkey refuses to offer any explanations.  To this day, the fate and whereabouts of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot missing remains an official secret….

In the confusion of 1974, some, but not all, of the missing Greek Cypriots were buried hurriedly on the Greek side. The return of the remains of the rest cannot be realised as they are behind Turkish lines….   In spite of various attempts at resolution, including a UN Committee, both sides still guard the unidentified hidden bones of each  others’ missing persons….

The film was shot in 2001 when the possibility of DNA identifiication redefined the problem and gave it a new urgency. By following the desperate attempts of two Greek women to discover the fates of their loved ones, the film explores the signficance of mortuary rituals,  and the different political lives of dead bodies  among the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.



- RAI International Film Festival, Durham, G.B., Juillet 2000
- Marché documentaire de Salonique, Grèce, Mars 2004
- International Ethnographic Film Festival, Moscou, Russie, Mai 2004
- Astra Film Festival, Sibiu, Roumanie, Octobre 2004
- Visual Culture Film Festival, Joensuu, Finlande, Octobre 2004

This film is an excellent complement to the book Bodies of evidence memory and the recovery of missing persons in Cyprus by Paul Sant Cassi, published by Berghahn Books, UK.

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