Greek director Alexandros Avranas’ chilling and incisive drama recounts an 11-year-old girl’s inexplicable suicide — and the family secrets that surround the tragedy.

City to City

Miss Violence

Alexandros Avranas

Opening with the inexplicable suicide of eleven-year-old Angeliki in the middle of her own birthday party, it's plain to see that Miss Violence demands of its viewers a certain threshold of pain — especially given that the girl plunges to her death while Leonard Cohen's death-camp waltz “ Dance Me to the End of Love ” plays on the stereo.

Yet if Angeliki's seemingly typical middleclass Greek family bears any emotional wounds from this harrowing loss, these are certainly not on public display. On the contrary, her single mother, grandparents, and siblings present a perfectly composed front. And Child Protective Services are beginning to wonder …

With this, his second feature, director Alexandros Avranas creates a tastefully austere, colour-coordinated universe, where everything is ordered and nothing is what it seems. Upon closer inspection, the film's subdued palette can be interpreted as a visual metaphor for submission, as the deceptively placid paterfamilias can slip from gentle protector to tormentor, causing all colour to drain from life in his household.

Set up as a carefully constructed series of episodes in which the family's hierarchy and history is gradually revealed, Miss Violence is a domestic coup d'état waiting to happen. From the script to the acting, cinematography, and art direction, Avranas orchestrates a triumph that may well dominate the festival circuit for the year to come. Miss Violence is precision filmmaking at its best.

DIMITRI EIPIDES

Screenings

Sat Sep 07

Scotiabank 5

Industry
1:45pm
Mon Sep 09

TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Regular
7:00pm
Wed Sep 11

Jackman Hall

Regular
10:00am
Fri Sep 13

Scotiabank 11

Industry
9:00am