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Ephemeral Town

Documaker Giorgos Zafiris makes a respectable feature bow with "Ephemeral Town," an atmosphere piece about an oldster searching for his lost family home on an island. Pic falls squarely in the Greek art-film tradition, not a drawing card for most viewers; limited fest life looks like pic's biggest gratification.

With:
With: Giorgos Dialegmenos, Maria Skoula, Maria Kehayioglou, Dioni Kourtaki.

Documaker Giorgos Zafiris makes a respectable feature bow with “Ephemeral Town,” an atmosphere piece about an oldster searching for his lost family home on an island. Pic falls squarely in the Greek art-film tradition, not a drawing card for most viewers; limited fest life looks like pic’s biggest gratification.

Advancing in years, Andreas (Giorgos Dialegmenos) feels an urge to visit his mother’s island, which he’s never seen. As the isle’s xenophobic mayor remarks, boundaries disappear over the years along with property records. Cycling on roads leading nowhere, Andreas finds a temporary community of unspecified refugees (probably Albanians) camped out in a tent city where Mom’s house once stood. Stamatis Yannoulis’ hypnotically restive camera weaves around fields of wheat and deserted beaches as it searches for images to capture Andreas’ sunset mood. Most interesting idea, which needs to be more clearly stated, is his view of the foreign refugees not as a threat to his identity (as the mayor suggests), but as a way to rebuild the past from scratch.

Ephemeral Town

Greece

Production: A Notos Film Prods. / Greek Film Center / Bad Movies/Telefilm / G. M. Lazaridis production. (International sales: Nosos Film Prods., Athens.) Produced by Dimitra Stamatopoulou. Directed by Giorgos Zafiris. Screenplay, Zafiris, Christos Koulinos, Yannis Leontaris.

Crew: Camera (color), Stamatis Yannoulis; editor, Giorgos Triantafyllou; art director, Thalia Istikopoulou, Dimitris Ziakas. Reviewed at Thessaloniki Film Festival (competing), Nov. 16, 2000. (In Cannes Film Festival -- Critics' Week.) Original title: Efimeri poli. Running time: 82 MIN.

With: With: Giorgos Dialegmenos, Maria Skoula, Maria Kehayioglou, Dioni Kourtaki.

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