Monday, October 6th, 2014


Two weeks after his Albanian mother has drunk herself to death, 15 year old Danny with a lollipop stuck in his  mouth and his white pet rabbit crammed into his backpack, takes the Ferry from his home on Crete to go to Athens to break the news to his brother who now lives there. Danny is a confident wise-cracking skinny kid with his dyed two-tone hair and funky clothes and is clearly out and proud to be gay.  His handsome older brother Odysseus (Ody)…. his senior by three years … is quiet and reserved and couldn’t possibly be more different. Neither of the boys have the right papers to live in Greece now that their mother has passed, so they hit on the idea of tracking down their Greek father who had walked out on the family 12 years prior, so that they can prove their dual nationality.
The last time their father was heard of he had supposedly struck it rich and was living in Thessaloniki, so the boys set off to find him. Danny also persuades Ody, who has a honey-toned voice, to enter into a major singing competition … a sort of Greece’s Got Talent TV Show  …. which happens to be holding auditions there too.
Along the way they make a housecall to see Tassos a very camp old family friend who has been like an Uncle to them. Tassos’s rather shabby nightclub provides an opportunity for both boys to break into another song and dance routine : one of several that are peppered through this very serious drama that has all these silly overtones. All of them seem obsessed with Eurotrash music in general and, particularly with the hits of an Italian pop diva from the 1960’s called Patty Pravo that these young boys were taught by their mother to idolise.
Whilst Ody tries out for his big break, his feisty brother secretly goes off to follow up on a lead he has to find his errant father. Danny has already got into one dangerous scrape by brandishing a gun around, and now gets into potentially more serious trouble when he reacts badly when the meeting at his father’s house goes nothing like he had planned.
This delightful quirky ‘road-movie’ from Greek filmmaker Panos H. Koutras succeeds because it cleverly combines so many different elements. There is his view of the social unrest in Greece with the back-lash of a right-wing element that is making the statelessness of immigrants such a contentious problem now in the current economic downtown. Against this, and the touching story of two young men trying to find their roots and their identity, there is also the hot-button topic of gay bashing too. Koutras juxtaposes all this with a whole layer of outrageous ‘let’s sing a song’ scenes like an old-fashioned musical, and somehow it all syncs so well together.  A great deal of the credit is due to his two young lead actors Nikos Gelia and Kostas Nikouli who made their characters extremely likable with their pitch-perfect performances,  and who had such great chemistry between them.
It’s hard not to like this oddball of a dramady that mixes fantasy with reality with a decidedly camp viewpoint, even though it could comfortably do with having 30 minutes shaved off it’s running time. It managed to wow audiences at Cannes Film Festival picking up nominations for The Queer Palm and Un Certain Regard Award, no mean feat from these movie professionals and hardened critics  who usually overlook an entertaining crowd pleaser like this.

Posted by queerguru  at  19:48

Genres:  comedy, international

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