The latest, award-winning film by one of the key directors in the New Greek Cinema, Panos Koutras, plays at the Orfeas Cinema at 9pm on Friday, September 4. His fourth full-length feature, Xenia, follows two young Albanian-Greeks on an odyssey (his pun, not ours) across Greece to find the Greek father who abandoned them and their Albanian mother when they were young. The film was shown at the 2014 Cannes Festival and scooped up six awards at the Greek Film Academy Awards this April, including best film, best director and best script. Koutras, however, used his acceptance speech to explain that he and his crew would be declining the awards until laws about second-generation migrant rights in Greece are changed.
Koutras is no stranger to controversy. He won a cult audience at ‘underground’ film festivals around the world with his first feature, The Attack of the Giant Moussaka, in which a six-storey serving of the signature dish terrorized downtown Athens. (The dish was accidentally hit by an embiggening ray from a flying saucer flown by scantily-clad space lesbians, and it took a team of sex-crazed gay scientists to defeat it.) Later films, such as the surreal melodrama Real Life (in which Koutras burned down the Acropolis) and the tender transgender love story Strella, were lauded at international film festivals. And even though we understand this one involves an encounter with a gigantic toy rabbit, it is probably best filed under Adult.
The film is in Greek with English subtitles. Entry is free.
Stop press: The Orfeas apologizes but the copy of Xenia it will be showing has just arrived by courier and is Greek-only, without subtitles. The Orfeas hopes to show the subtitled version at a later date.