Subtly echoing the 2005 episode dubbed "the Greek Watergate," a pair of telecom engineers set out to investigate hacker activity — make a scandalous discovery— in this timely and politically charged debut from director Yannis Sakaridis.
For his first foray into feature direction, veteran editor Yannis Sakaridis had developed a project with Attenberg star Vangelis Mourikis, but, in the wake of the Greek debt crisis of 2009, funding for the venture fell through. Undeterred, Sakaridis penned a new script, assembled a crew of friends and former collaborators, and took to the streets for a twenty-three-day, guerilla-style shoot. The result is Wild Duck, a story in which, perhaps inevitably, reverberations of Greece's current economic turmoil abound.
Self-employed telecom contractor Dimitris (Alexandros Logothetis) is forced to close his business after becoming deeply indebted to a local loan shark. In urgent need of quick cash, he accepts an offer from his friend Nikos (Giorgos Pyrpasopoulos), a fellow telecom engineer who works for a major service provider. Parties unknown have succeeded in breaching the company's networks — echoing the 2005 scandal that saw the phones of the country's top politicians illegally tapped — and Nikos enlists Dimitris to aid him in revealing the culprits. Their investigation leads them to an apartment in a nondescript block of flats, but rather than a tidy resolution to the case, their discovery provides Dimitris with a far more personal and intractable dilemma.
Despite the heft of his politically charged
subject matter, Sakaridis has fashioned
a film that is quiet and introspective, as
if edited in sync with its protagonist's
emotions. Sakaridis's discreet yet penetrating
gaze, evidently informed by his
non-fiction work, is artfully conveyed by
the fluid compositions of cinematographer
Jan Vogel (co-director of 2011's Wasted
Youth). Theirs is a vision of Greece seemingly
in dialogue with the sea breeze,
which, for all the country's recent ills, drifts
through Wild Duck like a restorative force.