Dir/prod:Thanos Anastopoulos. Greece , 2007. 83 mins.
Hailed as the best Greek film of last year, Thanos Anastopoulos' second feature is a purposely-mystifying affair which leads its audience in a hide 'n seek game from the beginning and refuses to reveal itself until the final frame (a gambit which also makes it difficult to review). Minimalist, with sparse dialogue, and without the relief of a musical soundtrack or much change in the hero's facial expression, this will be a tough sell for general audiences. Festivals love it already, though, (it plays in New York 's New Directors/New Films this week after success at Thessaloniki and Berlin) and specialised art house exposure may follow.
Correction deals with right-wing hooliganism, discrimination against immigrants and the brutality of thuggish soccer fans, all of which cross over quite easily to any European country. A handheld camera shows the main character, Yorgos (Simeonidis) as he gets ready to leave his prison cell and return to civilian life, and follows him tightly for the rest of the film. He emerges onto the busy graffiti-covered Athens streets, visits a day-care centre for released convicts, and then stalks a young girl, Savvina (Alimani) as she leaves school and returns to her mother (Kapetani).
It takes some time, however, before relations between these three are clarified. During the brief periods the camera leaves Yorgos, it is to follow Savvina and her mother, who turn out to be Albanian. References abound: Yorgos crosses a cemetery on a bus trip; policemen stop Savvina and her mother to ask for their documents; a packed Greece Vs Turkey football match features nationalistic slogans chanted by an angry crowd; and TV reports make reference to past violence at previous international football games. All of these will only be put in context as Correction nears a close.
Proceeding slowly, the camera keeps Yorgos in perfect isolation, hardly uttering a word, as he goes purposefully about some unknown business. Simeonidis keeps his performance under strict control, delivering a concept as opposed to a fully-fledged character. Which is true of the entire picture as well: sober, laconic, well-intentioned once viewed in its entirety, but impersonal.
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