Garage Screen presents the Russian premiere of the feature-length debut of Greek filmmaker Jacqueline Lentzou, known for her experimental shorts based on figurative associations, dreams, and intuition.
After learning about an accident involving her alienated father, Paris, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a young Greek woman, Artemis, returns to Athens. None of the disunited family members, including her mother and Paris’s ex-wife, wants to nurse him, so she takes this duty herself. As the father is undergoing physical therapy, the daughter tries to figure out what it is like to live with multiple sclerosis by mimicking its various symptoms. Reconciliation between Paris and Artemis is called into question, however, when she accidentally discovers her dad’s secret and realizes that the accident may not have been accidental at all. Jacqueline Lentzou’s feature-length debut, a story of a girl growing up amid her father’s diminishing, premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.
While falling into the “Greece’s strange wave” tradition (Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg focusing on the relationship between the daughter and her terminally ill father, as well as Yorgos Lanthimos’ emphasis on games and rituals), Lentzou’s Moon is more emotional, human, and intuitive. Its poetic subtitle reads “a film about flow, movement, and love (and lack of them),” and narration is constantly interrupted by images of Tarot cards and somewhat abstract fragments of a video diary—either Artemis’, or her father’s, or even someone else’s who remains undisclosed to the viewer. The picture’s main discovery is the impersonation of Artemis by the stunningly sculpturesque Sofia Kokkali, whose discreet acting has earned her the “Greek Kristen Stewart” moniker.
A significant part of the film focuses on Artemis learning to live the way her father soon will have to—crawling on her stomach, deliberately causing tremors in her hands, and rolling around in a wheelchair, while also dancing to an eclectic playlist during breaks, featuring the cult breakbeat track Freestyler alongside the Greek indie rock band The Callas. What differs Moon from “strange wave films” is that such scenes’ comic or absurd tonality is replaced by deep reparativeness here, aimed at healing oneself and restoring relationships with loved ones.
The film will be screened in Greek with Russian subtitles.
Moon, 66 Questions
Dir. Jacqueline Lentzou
Greece, France, 2021. 108 min. 18+