Bittersweet family memories

For director Elissavet Chronopoulou, «One Song is Not Enough» – literally. Song plays a pivotal role in the director’s first long feature film, set during the politically and socially demanding period of Greece in the early 1970s with the country under the military dictatorship. In the film, the characters’ frame of mind is demonstrated through singing, while the era’s overall mood – along with the relationships forged by the characters – is reconstructed through nostalgic tunes and characteristic rhythms. Using a simple narrative – as if she were talking to a friend – Chronopoulou tells a divorced couple’s story in two periods: during the dictatorship and today. A young girl faces a brutal separation, when her mother, a stage actress, is imprisoned for her actions during the resistance. Past and present cross as the girl blames her mother for the involuntary absence and their relationship remains distant and tense, while a present-absent father attempts to defuse the tension and restore balance. As the characters continue with their lives, they change, mature or resist maturing, doubt, fight, communicate or remain completely isolated. Well directed, the film exudes emotion, even though the mother-daughter relationship is not developed enough in the script. Yet the ambition does not exceed the intention, and the result is even, leaving viewers with the sense of a tender and honest touch. The director’s choice of amateur actor Yiannis Kokiasmenos in the role of the father is a successful one.

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