Unfair World

Unfair World

***

Reviewed by: Robert Munro

A straight-faced comedy and quietly disturbing drama, Unfair World seems to bring us a timely reminder of Greek troubles – both old and new.

At the centre of it is police interrogator Sotiris (Antonis Kafetzopoulos), who is fed up of trying to wring confessions from criminals and decides it is much easier to simply throw their case files on top of a filing cabinet and forget about them. However there is one case, in which he believes an innocent man is being unjustly prosecuted, that he just can’t let go. And here his troubles begin.

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Attempting to right this injustice, Sotiris and his partner Minas (Christos Stergioglou) decide to intervene, and they end up wrapped up in a noir-like plot featuring murder, a wad of cash and a curious cleaning lady.

The film works hard to try to blend a whole raft of differing tones and themes into one coherent picture, and it doesn’t always work successfully. Sotiris becomes somewhat romantically involved with Dora (Thoedora Tzimou) – the cleaning lady – but their interactions are so muddled and half-heartedly mumbled that it’s hard to ever get too emotionally involved in their fate or that of any of the characters. He also suspects she’s pinched the big wad of money that Sotiris dropped in his troubled attempts at bribery.

That the film centres around the aforementioned big wad of Euros, which the characters stumble around after bringing catastrophe into their lives, seems obviously to comment on the current political and economic woes engulfing Greece. There’s also a deep mistrust of authority and of the structures of power displayed by the disregard for the law from Sotiris and Minas.

This internal interrogation of the moral and political conflicts troubling the Greeks follows right through to the film’s rather ambiguous end, which involves Dora receiving a new model civilisation to the replace an earlier one which has been destroyed. The camera pans around the carefully crafted houses and streets of this make-believe utopia to find a house on its own, completely apart from the rest of the pretty little Styrofoam villages.

Maybe this indicates some authorial subtext from director and writer Filippos Tsitos, or maybe it simply indicates that the film is rather boring, allowing the mind to wander away from the story and characters and onto some course of its own design. Either way this is an odd film, which seems as likely to find admirers as it is to find detractors. Half the time you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. That’s probably the intention, but it doesn’t make for a wholly satisfying experience.

Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2012
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Dramatic comedy about the strange goings on of a police officer obsessed by making the world a fairer place.
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