Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dead Europe (2012)

Dead Europe (2012)



In Greece to scatter his father's ashes, Isaac hears of a curse that hangs over the head of his family. Dismissing the idea, his trip begins to unveil dark truths that forced his father to flee years ago.

Though it's not quite in the same league as last year's knockout one-two of Snowtown and Animal Kingdom, this adaptation of a Christos Tsiolkas novel provides further notice of Australian cinema's new found boldness. A gay photographer (Ewen Leslie) heads to Athens to scatter his Greek Orthodox father's ashes and discover his roots; instead, he stumbles over the knots and tangles of a continent-spanning network of prejudice and exploitation. Footage of the austerity protests lends it an of-the-moment vibe, but essentially it's a historical horror movie, turning on the snapper learning what's been polluting his bloodline. The film's restlessness – schlepping from one Mitteleuropean hellhole to another – saps some momentum, but director Tony Krawitz pulls off several unsettling moodshifts, and takes extremely seriously the old-world traditions and superstitions a gorefest like Hostel could only sneer and snigger at.


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