Archive of films Xenia / Xenia

Greece / France / Belgium
2014, 128 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2014

The sons of an Albanian mother, 16-year-old dreamer Dany and his brother Odysseas, 18, head out in search of the Greek father they’ve never met. One of the most warmly received films at Cannes this year, the work combines disarming, stylised hyperbole with the director’s convincing take on the unpleasant realities of contemporary Greece.


After the death of his mother, 16-year-old dreamer Dany leaves Crete to join his older brother Odysseas in the Greek capital. Born of an Albanian mother and a Greek father they’ve never met, the siblings feel like strangers in their own country. The search for their father leads them to Thessaloniki, which they discover is hosting public auditions for the "Greek Star” singing contest. Dany expresses a desire to see his gifted brother up on stage singing the cult song "La bambola,” immortalised by Italian diva Patty Pravo. One of the most appealing works at this year’s Cannes film festival, the film maintains a sense of immediacy while telling a tale of carefree youth and emotions both spontaneous and suppressed; it also drives home the fact that people are not split into heterosexuals and homosexuals, but into vulnerable individuals and everyone else. Koutras portrays the joys and sorrows of those most easily hurt with a disarming combination of realism – in light of the unpleasant situation in contemporary Greece – and stylised hyperbole, which he complements with a number of references to classic films such as The Night of the Hunter and Donnie Darko.

About the director

Panos H. Koutras

Panos H. Koutras (Athens) studied film at the London Film School and the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1985 to 1995 he travelled between both cities making short films. In 1995 he established 100% Synthetic Films in Athens which produced his feature film debut The Attack of the Giant Moussaka, released four years later. His second film, Real Life (2004), screened at Toronto and won the National Critics’ Award in Greece. His third film, A Woman’s Way, was selected for Berlin’s Panorama section in 2009 and was included in Karlovy Vary’s Young Greek Cinema focus two years later.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Panos H. Koutras
Screenplay: Panos H. Koutras, Panagiotis Evangelidis
Dir. of Photography: Helene Louvart, Simos Sarketzis
Music: Delaney Blue
Editor: Yorgos Lamprinos
Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou, Panos H. Koutras, Alexandra Boussiou
Production: 100% Synthetic Films
Coproduction: Wrong Men, Entre Chien et Loup
Cast: Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Aggelos Papadimitriou
Contact: Pyramide International

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