I’m Dan Roh, a Korean-American alum, ‘06-08, ‘17, and current Wilderness Counselor reporting to you from the internet! On Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 I attended a private screening in Washington D.C. of the documentary Searching for Andreas, directed by our very own Harris Mylonas, ‘94, originally a Red Hook alumnus from Greece and an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Department of Political Science, at George Washington University.
This documentary is a thorough exploration of the rise of the former three term Prime Minister of Greece, Andreas Papandreou and his populist legacy. The documentary was an impressive first feature for Harris Mylonas. Watching unfold on screen the story of this controversial figure that shaped Greece, surrounded by Greeks, Americans, and Professors reminded me of just how fortunate I am to be a part of the CRS alumni community and the wealth of knowledge we possess. In the documentary former Prime Ministers, family members of Andreas, and other intellectual elites gave in-depth answers to complex questions about the true impact of this charismatic leader. I had never heard of Andreas Papandreou before May 30th. The fact that I didn’t feel ignorant for my lack of knowledge while viewing the documentary speaks to Harris’ abilities to engage his audiences; I imagine his students as well, as a director and educator.
In the audience were some original members of Andreas Papandreou’s party, PASOK, as well as many who had lived through the elections and turmoil. Questions about the troubling efficacy of charismatic leadership followed after the screening. Did Papandreou create this model of “saviour-leadership” that is impossible to maintain and harmful to countries and organizations? Greece’s current Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras has partnered with ANEL, a far-right group, to form his coalition government. Harris didn’t shy away from hard questions about these figures, but also about his own documentary. The question and answer session with Harris oddly resembled those good ol’ feedback sessions that we were taught to hold as campers.
Harris asked for feedback as well as provided contact information so that viewers could get in touch with him later. This brought to my mind the term“servant leadership” that night. It seemed like this film was not just an attempt to educate, but also to serve. Harris is bringing up questions that the world should take a second to ponder. Searching For Andreas is his way of trying to make the world better. I am glad I showed up for this Instruction in the real world. It was well worth the seriousness of the film. Well done, camp brother! Thank you for making me feel like I was at camp for a night again!