Iakovos Kambanelis, poet, playwriter and lyricist, passed away today at the age of 89.
The late Iakovos Kambanelis was one of the most loved and respected Greek writers of the 20th century whose work reflects the life and tribulations of Greek society in the last century.
We owe his work to his failure as an actor. A survivor of the Mythausen concentration camp in Austria he wrote the lyrics of the Ballad of Mythausen which Theodorakis set to music. During the same period he wrote unforgetable plays like “He and his trousers”, “A tale without a name” and “Our great Circus” which was performed during the Junta dictatorship and was an inspiration of resistance. The play’s songs performed by Nikos Xylouris are still sang by young and old.
Some of the best Greek films of the period were written by him. “Stella” performed by Melina Merkouri is the best known of his scripts but he wrote many others quite as great and memorable. His heroes, both in his plays and scripts, are genuine and universal, real life people who become etched in your memory.
He will always be alive through his work and respected for his talent.