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26th Panorama of European Cinema Festival, 2013

Class Enemy
"Class Enemy" (Rok Bicek)

Athens, the primordial and the contemporaneous metropolis, is alive and kicking. In this unglamorous year of 2013, Athens did it again. Athens managed to absorb the cream of the spanking new cinema productions at the 26th Panorama of European Cinema taking place this year between 14th and 27th November.

Athens' sophisticated connoisseurs and proficient cinephiles have enjoyed once again this fall the oldest Athenian film festival, with 70 titles programmed in 14 days of screenings. The Athens Panorama of European Cinema presented both erstwhile and new-fangled European films, in a magical blend of cinematic trips.

The Athens Panorama of European Cinema is organized by the "Eleftherotipia" newspaper and unravels under the sometimes more or less generous clin d'oeuil of the Greek Ministry of Culture. This festival started mesmerizing its public 26 years ago in September 1987, denoting the time of the year where nominations are submitted to the European Year of Film and Television. Since 2009 it's been organized by the City of Athens Cultural Organization.

New British cinema, cinema of the Perestroika, new Italian cinema, Ealing studios comedies, fantasy cinema, science fiction movies, eco cinema, censored films from across the world, 200 years since the French Revolution, 40 years of "Cahiers du cinéma" magazine and love and eroticism in cinema are just some of the tributes and retrospectives that have been hosted by the festival in 22 years of devotion.

The passionarias that organize the festival, headed by the most relentless film critic in Greece: the meandrous Ninos Mikeliedes; chose to overcome the general predicament and the current bleak reality in Greece; and they fought to the very last second in order to make this possible! And they succeeded. The gates to the fabulous film worlds from over and beyond the Rainbow opened to the devouring spectators at the cinemas LAIS — at the Greek Film Archive, at the 3D Cinema Capitol, and at Cinema Ideal. In this latest edition the International Competition unfolded under the affectionate handling of Iannis, the cinema Captain, a character just out of the poetic and revolutionary Greek or Italian films of the '60-ies...

This International Competition section aims at presenting European productions freshly out of their creators' oven that have not been purchased by a Greek distributor, most of which are already awarded or nominated at various festivals. There is the main Festival Award, and the Panorama Audience Award, represented by a five-member committee (readers of the Greek magazine "Athinorama").

The International Federation of Film Critics' (FIPRESCI) is called upon to honor the best film in Competition. This year it was in total oath and unanimous concurrence that our three-member Jury (Giulia Dobre, Romania, Romanian National Radio; Aleksander Huser, Norway, Cinema magazine and Side 3 Nettavisen; Robbie Eksiel, Greece, Ethnos) opted to award the Slovenian film Class Enemy (Razredni sovraznik) by first time feature director Rok Bicek. This year the Panorama also requested eight young Greek writers to choose their most beloved European movies that perhaps enlightened and influenced their own labor.

A special tribute was consecrated this year to Alejandro Jodorowski from Chile, the last surviving surrealist film maker, with the screening of all of his films. His oeuvre is a tantalizing accolade to contemporary independent American cinema (Larry Clark, et al) and attracted impressive crowds of Athenian hipsters. Also in the program were some rarely screened titles from the Greek cinema of the 60's, such as Nikos Koundouros' Young Aphrodites (Mikres Afrodites) and Alexis Damianos' To the Ship (Mehri to polio).

Also of undisputable success this year was the section named International Pictures in First View — from the latest film by Jodorowsky, to Wild Duck, the first feature film from the Greek director Yannis Sakaridis, to Reygadas' Post Tenebras Lux or The Invisible Woman, directed and starring Ralph Fiennes. The Cinema aficionados of Athens indulged in a sober, yet truthfully high quality Fete du Cinema! (Giulia Dobre)

26th Panorama of European Cinema (Athens, Greece, November 21-27, 2013). Jury: Giulia Dobre, Romania ("Romanian National Radio"), Aleksander Huser, Norway ("Cinema"), Robbie Eksiel, Greece ("Ethnos"). FIPRESCI Prize: Class Enemy (Razredni sovraznik) by Rok Bicek (Slovenia, 2013, 112min). Print Source: Triglav Film (Bernikova 3, Domzale-Rodica SI 1230, Slovenia), Phn: +38 641799800, web:, e-mail:


Lessons on Life and Death. Aleksander Huser reviews Class Enemy (Razredni Sovrazni), the Slovenian entry from first-time director Rob Bicek which was the International Critics Prize winner. When a stern new teacher causes a classroom revolt, involving parents and the school authorities, the director gradually and cleverly shifts audience sympathies. arrow.
Beyond the Sea. Giulia Dobre delves deep into Alexandra Strelyanaya's The Sea and finds a director playing with parables on the nature of existence, love and local customs to see how big a part the natural environment does play. arrow.
A Classy Competition. The Panorama only contained eight films but all were of a consistent and engaging standard, according to Robbie Eksiel who picks out some of the best ones.  arrow.



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Athens 2013

bullet. Index
bullet. Life and Death
bullet. Beyond the Sea
bullet. A Classy Competition

Language editor:
Steven Yates