They shoot horses, don΄t they?*
Inevitably, the sight of the dead horse yesterday on the pavement in front of Orfeas Cinema brings back those memories. It makes the current situation with traffic on all the streets of the town go away.
Exactly 61 years have passed since Alekos Alexandrakis strolled through the streets of Corfu with Rena Vlachopoulou in a horse-drawn carriage! Watching the video of "The Countess of Corfu" on You Tube, older people are nostalgic for those times, just before the rapid development of tourism began.
Inevitably, the sight of the dead horse yesterday on the pavement in front of Orfeas Cinema brings back those memories. It makes the current situation with traffic on all the streets of the town go away. Coaches, cars and tour buses everywhere, sometimes even horse-drawn carriages, that show Corfiots' inability to make life in the town viable.
Yes, it could be viable and as beautiful as it was then. And yes, it could still have horse-drawn carriages, as long as a plan is put in place that bans cars within the town and directs parking around it.
Corfu has been discussing traffic and parking for thirty years. It has been studying and consulting for at least the last six to eight years to confirm that it is exactly where it started, back to square one.
The symbolism of the death of the poor horse is powerful. And it is a warning to everything living in this town, which cannot continue to ignore the reality, capacity, time and pace of life within it. First for its locals and then for its visitors. After all, the aesthetics and lifestyle was what they wanted as well!
The novel "They shoot horses, don't they?" that was also brought to the screen is allegorical and the story concerns a dance marathon. Couples are competing for a prize of $1,500. As the hours and days go by, contestants experience increasingly adverse conditions as the game gets tougher and tougher, while they are forced to dance non-stop to the point of death**.
* Horace McCoy's gripping book, written during the economic crisis of the interwar period, talks about brutal exploitation.