Athina Rachel Tsangari is one of the leading directors emerging from Greece’s recent and surprising output of delightfully weird cinema.
Tsangari’s latest offering is Attenberg, which she both wrote and directed. It’s a charmingly odd film that focuses on twenty-three year old Marina, her relationship to her dying father and her feelings of apathy towards fellow humans. Both funny and uncomfortable in equal measure, Tsangari manages to show there’s more to modern Greece than financial collapse.
A frequent touchstone within the film is Sir Richard Attenborough, whose name serves as a mispronounced source of the title and whose documentaries act as a shared passion of the father and daughter. Like the esteemed documentarian himself, the film sees the world through Marina’s disillusioned eyes, where humans are a strange species with customs and habits she has yet to master. Tsangari is able to depict an outsider without having to resort to the age-old staple of ‘quirkiness’, something that before seemed inevitable in a world apparently filled with a million baby Wes Andersons.
Referencing everything from Monty Python to Gorillas in the Mist, Attenberg manages to say a lot with very little, and will hopefully kick start a much needed surge in popularity of Greek cinema in this part of the world.
Attenberg is out now in select UK cinemas.
Text: Joe Iley