“WORLD’S APART”— Love in Greece

“Worlds Apart” (“Enas Allos Kosmos”)

Love in Greece

Amos Lassen

Greece has been in socioeconomic turmoil along with Southern Europe and in “World’s Apart”, we look at three different generations during which three Greeks have chance encounters with strangers in three interconnected narratives set in Greece. Daphne (Niki Vakali) is a young Greek woman who falls in love with Farris (Tawfeek Barhom), a Syrian refugee after he rescues her from an assault. Their relationship, though, is forbidden by her domineering, anti-immigrant father, Antonis (Minas Chatzisavvas). Giorgios (Christopher Papakaliatis) is a salesman for a struggling company, who meets Elise (Andrea Osvart), from Scandinavia at a hotel bar and they end up sleeping together.

Their affair becomes more than just a one-night stand, though, when they gradually develop feelings for one another. To make things even more complicated, Elise is the efficiency expert in charge of laying off the employees at the company that Giorgios works at. In the third story, Maria (Maria Kavoyianni) is a housewife in an unhappy marriage who meets a friendly stranger, Sebastian, a retired professor from Germany, in front of a supermarket. They agree to meet once a week at the same day and time in front of the supermarket and begin a friendship that becomes a sweet romance.

Director Christopher Papakaliatis combines light and dark elements to give us an humanistic and unpretentious look at love. He knows how to tell compelling stories with complex characters and does so without stereotyping, caricature and melodrama. Each character is a living and breathing human being and we feel the chemistry between each of the couples. Beneath the film’s surface, though, there are sociopolitical and socioeconomic commentaries that give us a lot to think about in this very timely film. We feel as if we are actually part of what we see on the screen. The three stories are presented consecutively with Papakaliatis using little tricks (like the religious procession of Good Friday) in order to show time (and create a sad atmosphere). In the end the three stories come together.

This is a Greece that is larger then life and we never lose the sense of location. The three stories have different styles—the first is romantic and affectionate but with a sense of darkness, the second is more humorous and sexy while also being restrained and the third story is powerful, loving and has a sense of privacy. Some may see this as problematic but I enjoy the different in tone in each story. When the stories come together, we might think that this is a bit too violent but seeing the lack of cohesion make the entire movie all the more interesting for me.

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