CULTURE

Solitude, strife and separation

«Tiny Snowflakes» by 33 -year-old Alireza Amini is Iran’s version of «Waiting for Godot;» a small apocalypse against a snow-white backdrop. Two watchmen stand guarding a mine in a small, isolated hamlet in the mountains. Their loneliness is relentless, the landscape insufferably unchangeable and monotonously solitary, like the snow. Their only diversion is the silhouette of a woman they see crossing a steep path. This is a minimalist, art-house film – a harsh elegy on solitude, death, isolation and innocence. «A Song is not Enough,» Greek Elissavet Chronopoulou’s first feature-length film, shows characters who express their moods by music. Nine-year-old Olga experiences a violent separation when her mother is imprisoned for her political beliefs during the Greek dictatorship. The past and present intermix and the young girl blames her mother for the separation. This is a well-directed, emotional film, though the mother-daughter relationship is not developed enough in the script, thus reducing the story to a tender, bitter-sweet reminiscence. «Totally Married» by Dimitris Indares was a pleasant surprise. A couple with a child who have been married for seven years are suddenly awakened from the slumber of habit. Both dedicate themselves to their careers and spend little time on their marriage. They grow apart and become entrapped in a cycle of nagging and quarreling. Their friend and best man, and a 23-year-old Russian beauty who has been hired as a nanny, become catalytic forces for the couple’s survival. Indares has chosen a very topical theme for his second feature film (the first was 1999s «Like a Prairie Cock in Wyoming»), but he seems to suffer from the same shortcomings as before: The plot is a superficial veneer and the script is based on television logic, where one event follows another without pause.