|Good Call, Niko|
The people of Zorba's world are full of life and welcome as they are often crude, superstitious and mistrusting. As the two acclimate to Crete among its curious inhabitants, we see them embark on romances - one, Zorba and his paramour, the charming but companionship-starved Madame Hortense, and Niko with a quiet outcast, a mysterious widow who is both hounded by advances and rebukes from the other townspeople. In the audience, we're treated to two seemingly different female figures who are remarkably alike in their unapologetic fearlessness to live and operate by their own rules despite constant mockery. Madame Hortense is a former courtesan who reminisces about her glory days protecting her adopted homeland through sexual favors (and having quite a bit of fun while doing it), while the Widow (that's all we know her by - a moniker which in itself evokes surviving a painful past and inner strength) chooses who to be kind to by who is kind to her. The men of the town seem to want her, but also hate her for what they see as her prerogative to only show favor to certain men - mostly the humane ones. I'll blog more on her later. Hers is an age-old problem universal for all womanhood, in a way. In Greek mythology, Venus (her Greek name was Aphrodite) was also self-determining in the face of being overpowered; myths recount that she chose her lovers - most famously, Mars, or Aries, god of war - after a husband was chosen for her, the decidedly duller Vulcan, or Hephaestus.
|Probably not a real blonde, though.|