Dir: Filippos Tsitos. Greece-Germany. 2011. 118mins
Filippos Tsitos rides the Greek new wave with Unfair World (Adikos Kosmos), a perplexing drama (of sorts) that appears to be heavily ideological but often impenetrably so.
Everybody’s living beyond their moral means, but whether that’s some reflection of Greece’s fiscal bankruptcy is up for debate.
A marked change of tone from Tsitos’ previous work (the 2009 comedy Plato’s Academy), Unfair World is an odd attempt to marry the allegorical stylisation of Yorgos Lanthimos with the visual sensibilities of, say, a Kaurismaki, but without any of the Finnish director’s lightness of touch.
Over-long at 118 minutes, this drawn-out drama is a challenge for wider audiences, but should sit happily in festival strands devoted to the recent rebirth of Greek cinema.
Doleful-looking Sotiris (Kafetzopoulos) is a police interrogator in Athens, convinced of the innocence of everyone who passes his desk. He lives alone in an apartment block, drinks a lot of ouzo, and passes out on a park bench next to a fast-food van. Dora (Tzimou), meanwhile, is a cleaner with a fixed, single expression that doesn’t change much throughout the course of Unfair World.
Their paths meet when, in the course of proving one of his suspect’s innocence, Sotiris shoots a security guard dead and Dora pockets a bribe financed by Sotiris’s partner, Mikas (Stergioglou, the father from Dogtooth).
None of these stony-faced characters are forgiving of each other’s weaknesses and Sotiris spends much of the movie looking for the fairness that he doles out at the police station to be returned to him (the fact he murdered a security guard doesn’t temper his sense of injustice).
Sotiris makes “imaginary landscape” sculptures for Dora out of polystyrene that could mean something, but equally, they might not. Everybody’s living beyond their moral means, but whether that’s some reflection of Greece’s fiscal bankruptcy is up for debate.
Production company: Wrong Men
International sales: Films Boutique, www.filmsboutique.com
Producer: Alexandra Boussiou
Executive producer: Benoit Roland
Screenplay: Filippos Tsitos, Dora Masklavanou
Cinematography: Polydefkis Kyrlidis
Production designer: Spyros Laskaris
Editor: Dimitris Peponis
Main cast: Antonis Kafetzopoulos, Theodora Tzimou, Christos Stergioglou, Sofia Seirli, Achilleas Kyriakidis