6.7/10
3,278
4 user 59 critic

Xenia (2014)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 18 June 2014 (France)
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1:41 | Trailer
Strangers in their own birthplace, 16-year-old Danny and 18-year-old Odysseus cross the entire country in search of their Greek father, after their Albanian mother passes away.

Director:

Panos H. Koutras
10 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kostas Nikouli ... Dany
Nikos Gelia ... Odysseas (as Nikos Gkelia)
Yannis Stankoglou ... Lefteris (as Giannis Stankoglou)
Marisha Triantafyllidou ... Vivi (as Marissa Triantafyllidou)
Romanna Lobach ... Maria-Sonia (as Romana Lompats)
Aggelos Papadimitriou ... Tasos
Mohamed Alhanini Mohamed Alhanini ... Achmat
Ioulios Tziatas ... Moustafa
Electra Leda Koutra ... Dikigoros (Antigone, Ody's lawyer) (as Electra-Leda Koutra)
Konstantinos Georgopoulos Konstantinos Georgopoulos ... Stefanos
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Petros Chytiris Petros Chytiris ... Ricardo, Patty Pravo's Chauffeur
Dido ... Dido
Vali Mavridi ... Floor Manager
Patty Pravo ... Patty Pravo
Dinos Psychogios ... Bully
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Storyline

Strangers in their own birthplace, 16-year-old Danny and 18-year-old Odysseus cross the entire country in search of their Greek father, after their Albanian mother passes away. Determined to force him to acknowledge paternity, little do they know that the road to the much-coveted Greek citizenship is paved with ghosts from the past, adult savagery and a dream that needs to come true, no matter what. Reaching the end of this initiatory journey they eventually come of age even if Greece refuses to follow. Written by Xenia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A New Greek Odyssey

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Greece | France | Belgium

Language:

Greek | Albanian | Italian

Release Date:

18 June 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ксения See more »

Filming Locations:

Kozani, Greece See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR1,500 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$358, 11 October 2015

Gross USA:

$3,181

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$162,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was selected as the Greek entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards but it was not nominated. See more »

Connections

References Pokémon (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Bambola
Written by Franco Migliacci, Piero Pintucci and Ruggero Cini
Sung by Patty Pravo
(1968)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Most original (and least bleak) recent Greek social drama
10 June 2015 | by Radu_ASee all my reviews

In the past years, whenever I see a Greek film, I brace myself for depictions of social degradation and individual misery, which is sometimes well established and played out, and sometimes heavy-handed and riddled with clichés. 'Xenia' is the first one which I believe to manage a balance between its story, social themes, and symbolism - but at times it also feels quite uneven. While it does come quite close to being one of the most remarkable European films of late, some scenes are written better than others, which could have used less dialog or more cuts.

Dany, a gay adolescent with bleached hair, playful attitude and increasingly obvious psychological problems, makes his way from Crete to Athens to inform his brother Ody, who works in a fast food place and appears more grounded, of the death of their mother. Since she was Albanian, they decide to locate their father who left them soon after Dany's birth - because once they turn 18 they are subject to deportation if they cannot prove Greek relatives. They manage to find an old friend of their mother who helps them with their search. But Dany's tendency to run into trouble soon makes things more complicated.

The nice thing about 'Xenia' is that its characters are deeply symbolic, but so complicated that their various clichés appear realistic. The names Dany (for Daniel) and Ody (for Odysseus) are already charged, both of them mythological figures who have to overcome extreme challenges. Dany isn't just very obviously gay and troubled, but has beautifully displayed visions which make it difficult to tell where the dream ends and reality begins. Ody isn't just the caring elder brother, but has inherited singing talent from his mother and strives to show it. The various secondary characters are likewise both stereotypical and complicated, as the flamboyant gay club manager with a genuine motherly affection for migrants, or the family-deserting father who turns right-wing politician.

These are spiked with scenes of social conflict and symbolic realism, all of which result in a very original style reminiscent of Almodovar, as exemplified by cameos and songs of 60's Italian sensation Patty Pravo. However, symbolism is Xenia's biggest charm. For instance, the title refers to an abandoned hotel in which the brothers take temporary refuge - the irony being that 'xenia' means 'hospitality', thus the ruin becomes a metaphor for present Greece itself. If you are able to catch all these allusions and do not mind that the story is somewhat lost, you're in for a real treat with this one. If, however, you like linear storytelling and character development, there's a good chance you will loathe this.


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