Based on a violent real-life event that shook Athens, this drama about a frustrated policeman and a teenage skateboarder set to cross paths during a scorching summer day goes from a steady boil to a furious finale, simultaneously indicting Greek corruption and serving as an homage to its multifaceted capital.

City to City

Wasted Youth

Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Jan Vogel

It's an ordinary day in an extraordinary city. The scorching heat has transformed Athens into a giant pressure cooker and Vassilis, a frustrated, emasculated, and increasingly alienated police officer, is about ready to blow his lid. In an empty swimming pool not too far away, teenage slacker Harris appears immune to the credit crunch that has stripped most adults of all sense of self-respect. Ignoring his bullying father's demands that he straighten up, Harris rides the concrete curves on his skateboard — though he might as well be maneuvering the empty shell of this bankrupt city.

But Athens isn't ready to give up just yet. Gradually emerging as the film's most vibrant and complex character, the Greek capital alternately swaggers and crawls, sending ripples of hot air through the endless jumble of off-white low-rises that crowd the horizon like a set of teeth waiting to be yanked. Harris and Vassilis's paths will inevitably cross somewhere in this city on this midsummer night — though this couldn't be further from a pleasant dream.

Crafted as a work of fiction, Wasted Youth is in fact based on a violent real-life event that shook Athens to its core. Employing an engaging and immediate pseudo documentary style, the talented directorial duo of Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel focus on bringing to vivid life both the tense confrontations and the downtime that lead up to the film's climax, which is at once brutal and poetic, senseless and thought provoking, and in its weird way an homage to the ancient metropolis that provides Wasted Youth its unforgettable setting.

DIMITRI EIPIDES

Screenings

Fri Sep 06

TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Industry
9:15am
Wed Sep 11

TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Regular
9:45pm
Thu Sep 12

Jackman Hall

Regular
5:00pm