Red Lanterns, The (1963): Greece’s Oscar Nominated Film (Prostitutes)

Set in the Greek port community of Piraeus, The Red Lanterns depicts the lives of five prostitutes and their customers-sailors who come to town.

We get to know each woman through revelatory flashbacks and meditative monologues on the circumstances that brought them to their current conditions.

The film, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, is non-judgmental. There is no effort to condemn or proselytize, only a concern to offer a realistic portraiture of the women’s work lives. At the time, it was considered to be a bold and audacious expose, counterpointing the popular Greek comedy, “Never on Sunday,” with Melina Mercouri as a joyous prostitute..

Originally released in Greece as Kokkina Phanaria, The Red Lanterns was adapted by Alekos Galanos from his own stage play.

It is not to be confused with Yimou’s great picture, Raise the Red Lantern.


Running time: 112 Minutes.
Directed by: Vasilis Georgiadis

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar was Fellini’s masterpiece, “81/2/”