Docu "Sugartown: The Bridegrooms" offers good-natured sympathy for its rural subjects and doesn't show any urban superiority by mocking the hapless bachelors at the film's heart. Audience involvement is almost guaranteed for this genuine fest-pleaser.

Loaded with charm and real emotion, docu “Sugartown: The Bridegrooms” offers good-natured sympathy for its rural subjects and doesn’t show any urban superiority by mocking the hapless bachelors at the film’s heart. Helmer Kimon Tsakiris follows a Greek village’s unusual approach to its decreasing female population, in the process highlighting a widespread problem while gathering support for a bunch of guys in search of better halves. Audience involvement is almost guaranteed for this genuine fest-pleaser.

As in many remote areas, the village of Zaharo (literally, “Sugartown”) has been hemorrhaging women to the big city. Desperate for a solution, the mayor organizes an expedition to Russia in search of prospective brides, taking with him three men as local ambassadors. It’s hard not to feel for these nice, simple guys, thoroughly unprepared for the tough Russian gals that await them. Poor Kostas, a shy, lovable shepherd, is shamelessly toyed with and then unceremoniously stood up when the Russians come for their own inspection. No one finds companionship, but auds will latch on to favorites and root for them all the way through. Betacam tech credits are more than respectable.

Sugartown: The Bridegrooms

Greece

Production

A Rosebud release (in Greece) of a Bi-optic, Anemon production, in association with Arte-ZDF, Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., YLE Majade Filmproduktion, Greek Film Center, G. Michaelidis. (International sales: Deckert Distribution, Leipzig.) Produced by Kimon Tsakiris, Rea Apostolides. Directed, written by Kimon Tsakiris.

Crew

Camera (color, Betacam), Argyris Tsepelikas; editor, Tatiana Panigyri; music, Sergios Voudris; sound, Aris Kafentzis. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Film Festival (Greek Documentaries), Nov. 24, 2006. Greek, Russian, English dialogue. Running time: 81 MIN.
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