The Greek Film “City of Children” presents the viewer with a multitude of tragedies. There is nothing like a tragedy to make one feel like a fool for wasted time and bad decisions.
There are four couples in the film and pregnancy is ostensibly the main theme but perhaps very subtly the bigger tragedy is the economic crisis that Greece faced after defaulting on its loans. We get snippets of a society in turmoil if not desperation by announcers on the radio now and then . Can Greece pull a rabbit from the hat? Demonstrations, loan renegotiations, tear gas, arrests and robberies. Having been in Greece during these times I saw the demonstrations and heard countless tales of social cuts and they were deep and painful.
So the children to be born in these awful times faced an uncertain future.
I can’t tell you the stories of these four women but I can give you some hints.
There is a Muslim Nadine (Kika Georgiou) who husband appears to be a drunk, gambler and criminal arrested while Nadine is giving birth. In effect she has been deserted by her wayward husband.
Then there is an older couple Antonis (Yorgos Ziovas) and his wife Vasso (Maria Tsima) with their teenage son Yiannis (Michalis Sarandis). This couple argues ferociously. Antonis loses a job as his employer is heading towards bankruptcy. And in a tragic move she does something she will regret.
Then there is Dina (Anna Kalaitzidou) and her husband Spiros (Leonidas Kakouris) who is a doctor. Dina can’t conceive despite numerous in vitro treatments. Tragedy awaits Dina and Spiros.
Then there is a younger hipster couple Fotis (Vasilis Bisbikis) and Liza (Natalia Kalimeratzi) where Liza tells Fotis she is pregnant while on a road trip. A psycho nut with a gun hijacks their Audi and wreaks further mayhem and tragedy.
So it is a woman very pregnant giving birth, one who can’t, one who is pregnant but makes a grave mistake and another seriously considering an abortion. Life for the living and unborn can be cruel and this film makes that point and enhances it to some degree by the actions of a psycho nut. You may regret what you have done in the past but as with mindfulness it is the present moment that is most important. Life gives. Life takes away.
This 2011 film as the debut of director Yorgos Gkikapeppas. The film is in Greek and a tad of Arabic with English Subtitles. It won the Best Greek Film in the 2011 Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
The film is brought to you by the Hellenic Film Society USA. https://hellenicfilmusa.org/
You can see the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dULnULgg_Q&t=2s
The film runs until May 31st virtually.