Attenberg (2010)

ATHINA RACHEL TSANGARI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5Greece, 2010, , , , , .  Screenplay by Athina Rachel Tsangari.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , Athina Rachel Tsangari, .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by , .  Toronto International Film Festival 2010.

makes a startling film debut as a young woman disconnected from the few people she shares her dull factory town with.  Her father is dying and she is not overly sensitive about it, her only other companion is a friend of whom she asks advice on life’s banalities like french kissing, but also frequently accuses of being a drain on her life.  Labed’s exploration of human connectivity is mainly through her love of David Attenborough documentaries, but when she meets a man (filmmaker , in real life Labed’s husband) at a bar, she strikes up an affair with him that threatens her desire to go against the theory that no man (or woman) is an island.  Striking imagery and strong direction make Athina Rachel Tsangari’s breakthrough film a welcome antidote to Lanthimos’ snobbier Dogtooth, both emerging from the same school of extreme Greek art cinema.  Here we get the sense of a world off kilter without the didactic allegory, and a harsh lack of sentimentality without any emphasis on the grotesque.  Intelligent and refreshingly unpretentious, it is marred only by its fair share of navel-gazing that will challenge your dedication.

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