TIFF takes a trip to Athens with this year’s City to City lineup.
City to City—one of the most underrated programmes at TIFF—highlights the film work of a different international city each year. After casting its spotlight on places as diverse as Mumbai, Buenos Aires, and, controversially in 2009, Tel Aviv, the festival now turns to Athens, a major site in the burgeoning Greek New Wave. It’s a city that has produced strange, powerful films like the Academy Award nominated Dogtooth. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s slate, which was curated by the festival’s artistic director Cameron Bailey and international programmer Dimitri Eipides.
The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas
Elina Psykou’s first feature works in the absurdist vein of recent Greek exports like ALPS and Attenberg, and stars Dogtooth’s Christos Stergioglou as a fading television host who stages his own kidnapping to extract himself from a cycle of crushing debt and low ratings.
Alexandros Avranas’s austere drama opens with a bang—the suicide of an eleven-year old girl at her own birthday party—and investigates her family’s curiously placid reaction, exposing the cracks just under the surface.
Like Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, this dramatization of real-life events takes place on a single hot summer day in the city, when a frustrated police officer comes into contact with a teenage slacker in the debt-ridden Greek capital.
Thanos Anastopoulos’s third film approaches Greece’s financial crisis through the lens of a thriller plot about a teenaged girl who kidnaps the young son of the man she blames for her father’s financial failure.
Greece’s answer to the Julian Assange biopic (and festival opener) The Fifth Estate, this feature debut from editor Yannis Sakaridis is about a pair of telecommunications workers who uncover a massive scandal while on the job.