Young Onassis

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In the aftermath of WW1, a young Greek refugee, flees to Argentina, takes the shipping world by storm, and becomes the richest man in the world.

September 1922. Aristotle Onassis (or Aris), aged sixteen, watches Smyrna burn from the bridge of a ship. His birthplace is in flames, his family’s fortunes up in smoke, his homeland lost. He makes it to Athens alongside hundreds of thousands of Greek refugees and in 1923, traveling on a Nansen passport, he reaches Argentina.

The son of a once-wealthy tobacco trader, Onassis is forced to start over with just a few dollars in his pocket. After taking a series of menial jobs, he starts working nights as a telephone operator. Ηe learns to speak various foreign languages by listening in on international calls. With his mornings free, he has time to think up ideas and he decides to involve himself in the tobacco industry. By the age of 25 he has completely reinvented himself, and made his first million.

In 1931, Onassis is appointed Vice Consul of Greece in Buenos Aires. This position sparks his interest in shipping. He knows nothing about the industry but is determined to learn. The young Aristotle Onassis knows, of course, that since his family has no background in shipping, he will have to fight his way into the exclusive and somewhat wary circles of the world’s shipping elite.

Mid 1940s. Aristotle Onassis now wants it all and he is going to get it! No matter the cost! At the moment he wishes to buy LIBERTY ships from the Americans but he is rejected from the list of shipowners who are entitled to buy in a favourable price American made Liberty ships, and Onassis knows that this rejection has been engineered by established shipowner Starvros Niarchos, his biggest rival. He gets acquainted with romance, meeting Tina Livanos, daughter of the biggest Greek Tycoon, S.Livanos. A hothead as much as a flirt, Aris will use any means necessary to convince the Americans, including bribery.

Decisive and goal oriented, in his fifties he is a celebrity of the international jet set. He’s got the money and the girl. But the world (and the women) is not enough, so he now wants to move his business to the Principate of Monaco. He is, however, under the radar of the displeased Americans and, ofcourse, Niarchos. Denied at first, his offer is finally greenlit, and his next big goal is to own the exclusive oil distribution on the planet.

Enraged, the Americans and Niarchos, to whom a betrayed Tina has slipped information, boycott his deal with the Arabs. The F.B.I. arrests him, accusing him of defamation of the U.S., fraud and espionage. His tankers are transfixed in the Persian Gulf and Onassis is left alone, with no friends or money. But the War of Suez gives him the opportunity to recover. His tankers are the only ones stationed in the Gulf and become active again. In a few months he regains all his fortune and becomes the richest man in the world. And now he is out for revenge. 

WRITER & DIRECTOR:

Tassos Boulmetis

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency . Neither the European Union, nor the European Education and Culture Executive can be held responsible for them. 

Episodes

8 x 50’

Genre

Biopic, Period Drama

Co-Funded-By-the-EU
Date

January 17, 2024