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From the Edge of the City (1998)

Apo tin akri tis polis (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 24 January 1999 (Greece)
The "Edge of the City" means Menidi, a poor suburb on the edge of pulsating Athens (the city). Menidi harbours many Cosssack Greeks. They are also called "pontios", ethnic Greeks from the ... See full summary »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stathis Papadopoulos ...
Sasha
Costas Kotsianidis ...
Kotsian
Panayiotis Hartomatzidis ...
Panagiotis
Dimitris Papoulidis ...
Giorgos
...
Natasha
Anestis Polychronidis ...
Anestis
Nikos Kamontos ...
Filippos
Stelios Tsemboglidis ...
Stelios
Giorgos Mavridis ...
Chorny
Panagiota Vlachosotirou ...
Elenitsa
Silvia Venizelea ...
Thodora
Emilios Chilakis ...
Nikos
Vasias Eleftheriadis ...
Father
Evri Sophroniadou ...
Mother
Giannis Kontraphouris ...
Pimp
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Storyline

The "Edge of the City" means Menidi, a poor suburb on the edge of pulsating Athens (the city). Menidi harbours many Cosssack Greeks. They are also called "pontios", ethnic Greeks from the Black Sea dispersed through the ex-Southern Soviet Union in the Stalin era. The "pontios" have returned to Greece en masse after the demise of the USSR. The parents speak mostly Greek, but the teenage children speak a hybrid Russian-Greek language which reflects their lack of identity and marginalization in Greece's highly xenophobic society (the only EU country where no minorities exist!...officially). The teenagers' marginalization leads them to the core of the film's theme: the lives of petty crime and prostitution which these second or third class Greeks lead. Their camaraderie, the way they mock each others' dealing in homosexuality, their sexual and criminal exploitation by rich Greeks, their own exploitation of prostitutes, sexual and moral ambiguity all lead to the film's defining! Written by Guy33134

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A hustler's own story. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 January 1999 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

From the Edge of the City  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Here's Looking at You, Boy (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold On
Written by John Martin, Joe Breen
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User Reviews

Defining nationality and sexuality
25 March 2011 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

What is a nation? According to Benedict Anderson it is a community socially constructed; an imagined community, indeed. In order to be Greeks or Russians one must first share these imaginary narratives that set apart one people from the other. Cohesiveness must come after everyone commits to this exercise of the imagination. What happens, however, with young men like Sasha and his group of friends? Raised in Russia and then transferred back to the land of their progenitors they feel neither Russians nor Greeks. They have been expelled out of any possible narrative of integration, and instead they are lingering on the edges of the city, on the marginal borders that preclude them from obtaining full status citizenship.

Unable to fit in, these youngsters cannot be a part of the symbolic order. Society has banned them and as a consequence they partake in illegal activities. Some of them are good at stealing, others at prostituting themselves. But then again, since being a hustler is the most profitable activity most of them try to gain the favor of other men.

Sasha is a boy struggling with his own identity. He is heterosexual and he falls in love with a common whore. However, the only way he can make money is by participating in the same activities his friends do. If identity is defined throughout adolescence, it's very revealing witnessing this group of kids coming to terms with what they do. They're 18 or 19 years old and some of them affirm that everything is alright as long as they assume the active role in homosexual intercourse. Others, more lucidly, realize that it doesn't matter who penetrates who, all that matters is that sex is taking place.

Nonetheless, the kids cannot let go of social conventions, after all, identity also depends greatly on how one pictures oneself. Our own images also depend on the gaze of the other. But since all of them are estranged from imaginary narratives since the very beginning, they find it difficult to find their place into the world. One can only wonder if at least one of them will be able to step aside of the vicious circle of poverty.


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