• Review: Worlds Apart (2015)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Tue Apr 4 13:50:16 2017
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: This film contains three stories of love and
    callousness, in each a Greek having a romantic
    relationship with somebody from another country. The
    three stories are bound together by the story of a
    fourth Greek less positive. Christopher Papakaliatis
    wrote, produced, directed and acts. For US audiences
    it might be a primer on the anti-immigrant movements
    in Greece as well as the financial crises. Rating:
    +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

    This is three love stories set in Greece in a time of turmoil and
    financial crisis. The stories are bound together to take place at
    the same time and toward the end they join together to be one
    single story. The film takes place in Athens and in each story a
    Greek meets and has a relationship with a non-Greek.

    The first story has a young Greek woman, Daphne (played by Niki
    Vakali) saved from a street mugging by Syrian refugee Farris
    (Tawfeek Barhom), once an artist, now a street vendor. The Syrian
    decides he likes this woman and pursues her in his own way. This
    turns into a Romeo and Juliet story, since Daphne's father Antonis
    (Minas Chatzisavvas) leans to the fascistic, who wants to see all
    these foreigners thrown out of his country. With a little help
    from some friends he intends to take matters into his own hands.
    He sees himself as having lost everything he valued to immigrants,
    especially street thieves.

    In the second story, Giorgios works as a salesman for a big
    corporation. Its home office in Sweden is downsizing it. Giorgios
    is played by Christopher Papakaliatis, who co-produced, wrote and
    directed WORLDS APART. The company sends a corporate "axe man" to
    Athens to lay off workers and perform the downsizing. In this case
    the axe man is really an axe woman and though the two disagree
    strongly on company policy, outside of work they find something to
    like in each other.

    The third story has a Greek housewife Maria (Maria Kavoyianni)
    having her world turned around when she meets a German historian
    intent on introducing her to poetry, philosophy, and a wider more
    romantic world. The professor is improbably played by
    J. K. Simmons who brings his usual amiable style, though he is not
    entirely convincing as a German. The two meet secretly in the
    grocery at the same time each week for a platonic rendezvous in a
    world apart from Maria's unpleasant home life.

    There is a thread that ties the stories together; it snakes through
    the other stories, touching all the major characters.

    The film is a Greek production. Most of the cast will be
    unfamiliar to American audiences, the one exception being Simmons.
    Scuttlebutt is that most of the others are well known in Greece.
    Christopher Papakaliatis who wrote, produced, directed, and is one
    of the main characters looks a bit like a Greek Mandy Patinkin.
    The film is in English and Greek with English subtitles.

    The film was made in 2015, but with nativist attitudes making
    themselves felt in the United States and with the financial crisis
    in Greece it can only be more relevant today than when it was made.
    I would rate WORLDS APART a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. It
    will be coming to DVD and On Demand on April 11, 2017.

    Film Credits:

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    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2017 Mark R. Leeper

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