After a busy couple of weeks, we’re getting ready to go to tonight’s UK premiere of Roy Sher’s award winning feature documentary My Sweet Canary, a fascinating film about the life of the Queen of Rembetika – iconic Greek-Jewish singer Roza Eskenazi. There’s lots of excitement in store from live music to a drinks’ reception and tasty Greek treats.
It’s all taking place at Cineworld Enfield at 8pm. Better known for showcasing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, the cinema’s rolling out the red carpet to the local community, comprising a significant population of Greeks, Turks and Cypriots. And it’s all in aid of the Leukaemia Cancer Society.
Roza’s story is fascinating – a figure with the charisma of Edith Piaf or Billy Holiday, she was born in Istanbul’s Jewish Quarter during the 1890s, survived the upheaval of the Greek-Turkish population exchange of 1923, became a single mother at 14 and escaped persecution by the Nazis.
Alongside this, Roza made a poignant musical journey across four cultural capitals, giving voice to the underclass with soulful performances of rembetika music. Her music touched Greek, Turkish and Jewish audiences and she eventually made her way to America, becoming the first female Greek singer to join Columbia and HMV.