The cursed cinema of Dimitri Athanitis
Avelina Rodriguez Gil, Faro da Vigo
The last Athanitis's film Three Days Happiness (2012) is a tremendously deep and beautiful work about ways to hold on to life, as long as there is, happiness. The three protagonists: Irina, a hore who wants to leave to Canada and change her life; Anna, a clerk in a bookstore, going to get married; Vera, a literature student who discovers a terrible family secret. They all try to find their way, without knowing that each one of them depends on the other two.
Over a decade after 2000 + 1 Shots, No Sympathy for the Devil, and Planet Athens (2005), the capital remains for the director, the only cohesive element that makes the inhabitants keep moving without getting tired from each other. But however, it not a long time that the issue of the family, conceived as defined and orderly molecule in which its members have no chance of escape, begins to flash as a recurring theme throughout the new Greek films. And of course also in Athanitis work.
Speaking of himself Dimitri: “one of the most important reasons for the crisis of values in my country is the conception of the family. That enclosed space in which there is no way out".
Essentially what the work of this artist proposes are two things ; on the one hand a metaphor on the disorientation of modern societies and on the other, the fragmentary construction of our minuscule existences in the development of history .
Lives that cross, sharing moments, days and nights, joining or never quite touching. Υet the only thing that sets us apart is a narrow wall of cement, or misunderstanding?
And it would make any difference if our cities were from brick, stone, glass, or wood?
Wouldn’t we keep pretending to be surprised, upon the way we always used to be modified and transformed indelibly by discounts?
We live walking, opening and closing doors, hearing the noise of cars, planes, anything, without attending. As if all that was not us. Big mistake.
In one of the episodes of Planet Athens, a Japanese couple who come to spend their honeymoon in the city of the gods, they remain astonished before the closed door of their hotel. They do not understand.