LGBTQ+ 'Activists' Allegedly Behind Acropolis Sex Film as New Details Emerge

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday January 12, 2022

A viral short film depicting two men having public sex at the Acropolis, one of Greece's most famed sites of antiquity, is a protest by LGBTQ+ activists, say people claiming to be the filmmakers, according to an article in UK newspaper the Independent.

"The 36-minute short film, titled 'Xeparthenon' — meaning 'deflowering' in Greek — was shot by anonymous producers at the site that symbolized 'nationalism, the cult of Antiquity' and 'patriarchy,'" the article said.

The Independent relayed that the film shows "two men, wearing face covers, engaging in sexual acts at the ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens in full view of tourists and local public," and noted that a "backlash" was ignited by the film having gone viral online.

But as more details come to light around the film, it turns out that the movie "was first showcased at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in December" before it "grabbed the attention of authorities in early January after it emerged online."

The Daily Mail noted that the "anonymous producers" of the explicit short "described the erotic scene between the two men at the site as a 'political act.'"

As previously reported in an AP story, the Greek Ministry of Culture vowed to investigate the film and those who made it. The government office also declared that "The archeological site of the Acropolis is not suitable for any kind of activism or other activity which would cause offense and displays disrespect for the monument."

As to questions about how well sites of antiquity are policed, the Ministry of Culture passed the buck — literally — to the Ministry of Finance, saying that money has not been provided to hire adequate security and staff, according to the Mail.

Others also spoke out on the film's content. "Spyros Bibilas, the president of the Greek Actors' Association, described the movie as shameful," the AP story added.

"You can't do everything in the name of activism," Bibilas said on Greek television. "In fact, I don't consider this to be activism," he went on to say, adding that he felt "ashamed" of the film.

But some are keeping quiet in the face of national outrage.

"The University of Thessaloniki, which did not inform the culture ministry of the film's contents, risks being caught up in the investigation," the Mail noted. "It has not offered any reaction to the controversy."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.