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.

City to City

The Daughter

Thanos Anastopoulos

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 hormonal threat.

CAMERON BAILEY

Screenings

Sat Sep 07

Scotiabank 5

Industry
11:15am
Tue Sep 10

TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Regular
7:45pm
Wed Sep 11

Jackman Hall

Regular
12:45pm