Hazardous and Unhealthy

A Greek "hero" turns out to be more pith than myth wherein an uncouth trucker falls afoul of a village he once saved from the Nazis. Helmed by Greek docu and feature-director Antonis Papado-poulos, pic has an intriguing set-up but lacks sufficient vitriol to make it a real killer. Commercial prospects outside Greece look weak

With:
With Paschalis Tsarouchas, Nena Mendi, Antonis Antoniou, Regina Pantelidi, Yannis Zouganellis.

A Greek “hero” turns out to be more pith than myth in “Hazardous and Unhealthy,” wherein an uncouth trucker falls afoul of a village he once saved from the Nazis. Helmed by Greek docu and feature-director Antonis Papado-poulos, pic has an intriguing set-up but lacks sufficient vitriol to make it a real killer. Commercial prospects outside Greece look weak.

Lecherous asphalt jockey Vasilis Ballis (Paschalis Tsarouchas) has an engine breakdown outside the mountain village of Astro. He realizes it’s the same place where he saved several lives from German execution 30 years ago, in 1944. The villagers, thinking he’d been killed that day, erected a statue to him and have parlayed his heroic feat into a lucrative local legend. His being alive – and a bit a scoundrel – blows the whole story, so they lock him up. Helmer Papadopoulos has no stomach for real cynicism, and falls back on chest-beating melodrama that punks out on potential for proper Greek tragedy. Color on print caught looked badly washed out; other credits are okay. Title refers to identity papers Ballis holds that permit him to carry such material.

Hazardous and Unhealthy

Greece

Production: A CL Prods., Greek Film Centre, ERT production. (International sales: Greek Film Centre, Athens.) Produced by Costas Lambropoulos. Directed by Antonis Papadopoulos. Screenplay, Papadopoulos, Grigoris Papadoyannis, Dimitris Spyrou, Alexandros Kakavas.

Crew: Camera (color), Polydefkis Kirlidis; editor, Takis Koumoundouros; music, Marios Tokas; art director, Antonis Halkias; costumes, Magda Kaloriti. Reviewed at Moscow Film Festival (competing), June 24, 2004. (Also in Thes-saloniki Film Festival 2003.) Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With Paschalis Tsarouchas, Nena Mendi, Antonis Antoniou, Regina Pantelidi, Yannis Zouganellis.

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