A Touch of Spice | 2009
The saga of a 40-year-old astrophysics professor who goes back to Turkey, where his grandfather raised him, evoking memories of his first love. In 1959 in Istanbul, Fanis Iakovidis is a young boy growing up in the multi-cultural city, where Greeks and Turks live side by side. Fanis' granddad, spice shop owner Vasilis, tells him that "life, like food, requires salt, too" and impregnates him with a broad, non-denominational outlook tinged with the mystical. Ignorant of growing political tensions, Fanis is heartbroken when the family is split up. As a Greek citizen, Fanis' father has his property confiscated and moves with his wife and Fanis to Athens; old Vasilis stays in his beloved Istanbul. Back in Greece, the family suffers the initial irony of being treated as de facto "Turks." Flash forward to Athens in 1964, and Fanis is showing real talent as a cook, much to the comic dismay of his parents and teachers who fear he may be turning into a homosexual. Fanis still misses his grandfather, and even his father notes that "Greece was much more beautiful in our minds than what we found here." The last segment is set in the present day, as the mature Fanis, a respected astrophysics prof, finally returns to Istanbul, where his granddad is mortally ill.