One of the best films shown at the EIFF in 2013 was a film that came from Greece. Joy (2012) a strong and emotional film with a simple straight forward narrative with no twists and turns, no flashbacks it just tells a story of a sad and lonely women who is happy to sacrifice everything just to have experienced joy for two days of her life, but its none the less shocking for it. Three other Greek films that fit the bill are Dogtooth (2009), Alps (2011) and one of the most popular films on my blog Attenberg (2010).
The latest film from the Greek new wave to offer something different is Miss Violence (2013) directed by Alexander Avranas, it was premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion for Best Director and a Best Actor award for Themis Panou. Panou plays the family’s patriarch, grandfather to some and father to others. The family also consists of the grandmother, her daughter Eleni, pregnant with her fifth child, the other four consists of two older girls, and two much younger children one a boy the other a female. That is until Angeliki’s eleventh birthday party when she commits suicide by jumping off the balcony of the family apartment to her death. The family refuses to except that the death is anything more than an accident! It is now up to grandfather to deal with the questions that arise from the authorities about this terrible affair.
Its pretty obvious that we are not dealing with a normal family, but what are we dealing with, what is grandfathers relationship with the other members of this apparently tight knit group? Well your just have to go and see the film to find out, but what I can tell you is this is a very matter of fact, but deeply disturbing, study of a shocking cycle of abuse. It’s a startling portrayal of a family by a group of actors that could not have be bettered. On leaving the screening you know you have just been stunned by the very power of a movie you will probably never want to see again!