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
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.