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Boy Eating Bird's Food dir. Ektoras LygizosBoy Eating Bird's Food dir. Ektoras Lygizos
New Greek Cinema

One of the highlights of the 14th edition of the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival (July 24-August 3) will be an overview of new Greek films, which are being screened with increasing frequency at international festivals and also enjoying much-deserved success. We will have a selection of several dozen Greek films in Wrocław. The program will include well-known films by some of the most-recognizable names from the so-called Greek New Wave, including Dogtooth, by Giorgos Lanthimos, and Attenberg, by Athina Rachel Tsangari, two directors who, several years ago, delighted audiences with their brilliant portraits of social outsiders. There will also be no shortage of premieres.

This year’s review will break the stereotypes that usually accompany discussions of contemporary Greek cinema, which is diverse and certainly does not end with the two above-mentioned filmmakers, whose work arose in the spirit of that of Luis Buñuel – metaphorical, surreal, and full of black humor.  Nonetheless, Greek cinema is still developing. New figures are appearing all the time, makers of unique films that make use of their own lyricism, that experiment with narration and form, such as Syllas Tzoumerkas, a director well known to New Horizons audiences, whose film Homeland has appeared in the Festival’s main competition and will be screened again at this year’s Festival.

The majority of films produced in Greece portray a country that has been unable to return to normalcy in the face of economic crisis. Rather than discuss the social context directly, it is clothed in metaphor (an exception might be At Home, by Athanasios Karanikolas, which also appears in the program). The Greece that we see in the work of these contemporary filmmakers is a country of people who are lost, detached from reality, who reject their Greek identity, often escaping into madness. Such is the acclaimed debut by Michalis Konstantatos, Luton, a portrait of three individuals of different ages: a teenage girl, a lawyer in her thirties, and their 50-year-old father. At first glance, they are all living in a normal world, but this is really just a cruel illusion.

Besides the above-mentioned titles, the Festival program will also include the intimate drama Boy Eating the Bird's Food, by Ektoras Lygizos, as well as the superbly made documentary Raw Material, by Christos Karakepelis, a shocking, powerful portrayal of scrap-metal collectors.


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