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Attenberg

Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari

Greece, 2010

Cornerhouse, 4 September 2011

Attenberg

The trick that the director, Athina Rachel Tsangari, pulls off here is to make a film about love and death look light and whimsical.

It is the dances that the two girls, Marina (Ariane Labed) and Bella (Evangelia Randou), perform and the imitative response (literally ‘aping’ in one instance) to Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries that is mainly the source of the whimsy.  You might want to contrast those scenes with the scene where Marina asks – no, demands – that Bella (her best friend, remember) should, as a favour, have sex with her terminally ill  father.

There is sometimes an unnaturalistic register similar to that to be found in Dogtooth, another recent Greek film.  Both are able to unsettle and disconcert, but this is an altogether pleasanter affair.  There are no nasty surprises lurking in the shadows…

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