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In the small, closed community of a provincial town, Magda tries to maintain a balance within a family facing many serious problems. The families apparently normal, bourgeois, every-day life will crack open, bringing to the surface hatred and passions of the kind that lie well-hidden in the mists of the nearby lake. An intense plot and a totally unexpected ending make up this film, which features characters who are vulnerable, innocent and ordinary, but who become ruthless and callous, worrying only about protecting their financial resources. The offences are disproportionately serious compared to the financial benefits they try to secure. Written by
A Dysfunctional Family in the Manner of Greek Tragedy
Thanasis Papathanasiou and Michalis Reppas serve the double capacities as writers and directors of this Greek film that places a contemporary Greek family on the stage of ancient Greek tragedies, even to the point of parallels between the characters and Greek tragedy roles! Though the story is complex and meanders a bit too much to follow with ease, it does make a powerful statement about families torn apart by death, greed, and all manner of sexual disloyalties.
The family consists of mother Magda who owns important land coveted by entrepreneurs and who runs a bakery while caring for her wholly invalid husband injured in a car crash that killed her daughter; a money-conscious daughter married to Stelios, an earthy stud of a man with whom Magda is having an affair; the silent near comatose father who sits observing the tragedy like a wordless Greek chorus; and Christos, the hunky son who is bisexual and sleeping with a young girlfriend and an older woman and an older bisexual male city official Yiorgos who is married with children and is in charge of the city planning, his chief project involves the land Magda owns.
The plot is convoluted but basically boils down to the development of a blackmail plan that will gain money for the land the family owns. The blackmail plan involves Christos' affair with Yiorgos in which videotapes are made of Christos' assignations with Yiorgos. The lives of all the characters are altered once the greed consumes them and there are discoveries, a death, betrayals, twists and feuds that end in a surprising manner.
The cast is strong, especially Yannis Tsimitselis as Christos, Nena Menti as Magda, Akilas Karazisis as Yiorgos, and Alexis Georgoulis as Stelios, with all of the supporting roles well cast. There may be just too many factors to keep straight in this film, but the overall effect is rather grand in its unremitting examination of a family in the process of disintegrating. Well done though taxing movie. Grady Harp
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