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such a shame
So Nikos Panagiotopoulos is one of the most important Greek directors from the 80s and has offered Greek cinema very important films. "Afti i nyhta menei" for example is an extremely poignant portret of the modern Greek society in a way that includes both criticism and understanding. True to his off-beat style that came before the weird wave of Greek cinema (Lanthimos, Tsaggari, Makridis), he delivers since the 80s almost a movie per year not always meeting his own standards.
This is clearly the case with "Limouzina". But this time not only doesn't he meet his standards but goes further into delivering a series of uneventful rant as a movie. I couldn't be more disappointed by every aspect of this film. Every scene feels like it's randomly shot so the angles never make sense in way similar to a very first student film. Camera movement is full of obvious mistakes and corrections and the performances appear to be rushed, so you get the impression that the film was created offhand.
But the fact that it is poorly shot is not the worst part of it. The worst part is the pretentious dialog that exists instead of a plot. Every banal idea about Greeks goes through the film like it's witty philosophy. References to famous writers are completely shallow, but still the only mode of content.
So watching this film knowing who Panagiotopoulos is and what he can do (also technically, but mostly conceptually) becomes a great disappointment.
at last a Greek political documentary
This thought provoking documentary accurately describes the Greek debt crisis by adopting a point of view and then relentlessly showing data and interviews to support it. The success here is that it actually manages to gather enough data and interviews to be transformed from an annoying propaganda from the filmmakers to an interesting propaganda from an existing minority that believes that there are alternative ways to deal with the Greek debt.
An important choice in this process has been not to hide its political origin and destination. Debtocracy never claimed to be an objective account of the reasons that lead to the Greek debt crisis nor even tries to find people that disagree with the point of view it presents. On the contrary its depth comes from pointing out the global appeal of that specific point of view.
I noticed that the other reviewers didn't like the documentary because they have political disagreements or believe that propaganda can never be interesting. But this poignant film can be put against the familiar media propaganda and can thus help everybody reach their own conclusions.
If you have been following the course of popular American political documentaries of the last decade by journalists/filmmakers like Michael Moore, Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki and Charles Ferguson you will be especially happy with this first Greek addition to a movement that despite its propaganda elements has brought social thinking to the monotonous discourse of news media.
Na Wewe (2010)
This Belgian film talks about a subject that is very much talked about nowadays in Belgium: national identity. The country that holds the record for time taken to form a new democratic government after an election, held until then by Iraq, offered us a very good insight on the essence of national identities. The way the director Ivan Goldsmidt achieved this was by setting his film at the civil war in Burundi and the genocidal conflict between Hutus and Tutsis. A van full of people is stopped by a few gun- wielding rebels, who demand to know everybody's origins. Of course this proves to be extremely complicated, which is why this movie turns into a comedy quite soon, despite the wielding guns. The tension of this situation is effectively used to make a point about the funny irrationality of the idea of national identity. "Na wewe" means "you too" in Kurundi, because this is definitely not a topic concerning only Hutus and Tutsis.
The Confession (2010)
Poser mixing of well-delivered genres.
The Confession follows the story of two young boys that are trying to find what to confess in their first confession. Their comedic explorations take a dramatic twist, while at the same time a few "psychological thriller" types of scenes give this cross-genre experience a lot of weird moments. Because evidently the director's intention to mix the genres was not justified, meaning that the mix had no deeper aesthetic purpose other than the very experiment of mixing, which is why at times the story is left dry, trying to discover a purpose for the characters other than the before-mentioned cinematic experiment. And that's a shame, because each of the genres is very well delivered, especially the first comedic vibes.