During a hot summer in Athens, the lives of two protagonists unexpectedly cross paths: a passionate teenage skater and a policeman in his midlife crisis. The opening film of IFFR 2011gives a great and urgent feeling of contemporary Greek society.
It is a scorching summer in Athens. The two main characters in Wasted Youth begin an ordinary day. One of them, 16-year-old Harris, is a teenage skateboarder typical of boys of his age and like many of his friends. He spends his day hanging around, arguing with his dad, visiting his mother in hospital and partying in the evening.
The other protagonist, policeman Vasilis, is going through a difficult period in his life, and seems to get more tense as every minute of the day goes by. Not only does it look like he is experiencing a midlife crisis, he is also frustrated with his work and family life. This film is about the city of Athens: Vasilis is like this city, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The paths of these two characters are destined to cross in quite an unfortunate way.
Formally, Wasted Youth is highly modern, young, dynamic cinema full of enjoyable modern music, and represents a true enrichment of contemporary European cinema. Inspired by true events, the authors have succeeded in recreating the atmosphere of the city: its unrest and tension, its colours, its heat. A fascinating portrait of Athens and its inhabitants, and a society in crisis.
Programmer Note by Ludmila Cvikova:
Hunting for Tiger candidates is a very interesting process, and a surprising one too. One is busy screening films throughout the year, searching and researching and then seeing entries sent to our office in the later period of the year. We are talking here about hundreds and hundreds of films. We always have great expectations when seeing the first or second film: could this be our Tiger? (That’s our Tiger committee jargon). And then in December, when the deadline has passed, you are losing hope of ever making another lucky discovery, and there are still many files of DVDs waiting to be seen on your shelf at the office. Honestly, I sit down a bit pessimistic (and tired!) to the last December screenings every year. Unrighteous, I must admit.
Last year, as one of the last DVDs of my last to-do file, the Russian Mama popped out. This year it was similar - last but not least, the refreshing Greek debut Wasted Youth fell as if from the skies! This is one of those films where you know after a few minutes of watching: it’s a real Tiger. The subject, style, actors and their acting, the use of music - it all flows together into one convincing and strong film. A new voice of a new generation.