Taking inspiration from the financial crisis that continues to devastate Greece, the third feature from Thanos Anastopoulos is a taut and timely thriller as well as an artful political allegory, about a teenage girl who abducts the young son of the man she blames for her own father’s bankruptcy.
Myrto (Savina Alimani) is fourteen years old and beset by the sudden rush of questions that preoccupy most fourteen year- old girls. Why is my world so awful? What is happening to my body? What did I do to deserve these parents?
In Thanos Anastopoulos's insightful third feature, The Daughter, Myrto grapples with dilemmas similar to many teens, but two things differ. First, she happens to be living in Athens during its current economic instability. Secondly, she proves to be far more formidable than most fourteen-year-olds.
One day her father disappears, but Myrto doesn't panic. After seeking answers from her mother — her parents are divorced — the girl sets out to handle the situation herself. Quiet, serious, and possibly ruthless, she kidnaps Aggelos (Aggelos Papadimas), the eight-year-old son of her father's business partner. Slowly, her plan for the boy reveals itself.
Working in terrain similar to early
Michael Haneke, Anastopoulos ratchets
up the tension notch by notch, seeking
not so much to frighten as to reveal truth.
The director is a philosophy graduate, and
displays here a clarity of intention that
allows his film its disturbing moments without ever straying into horror. As
Myrto taunts and menaces young Aggelos,
a larger picture emerges of a family
driven to desperation by the greed and
duplicity that accompanied the economic
crisis. The Daughter finds a potent mix of
moral ambiguity, political comment, and