Awarded director starts the show at Opening Nights film festival

Distinguished filmmaker Costa-Gavras’s excellent work has been greatly appreciated on an international level. Despite his recognition on the world film circuit, the well-known director maintains an impressive modesty and lack of any kind of arrogance. At the recent launch of the 11th Opening Nights Athens International Film Festival, Costa-Gavras was present, equipped with his new film «Le Couperet,» to introduce the festival and receive the Golden Athena award for the body of his work from acclaimed actress Irene Papas. He was very grateful for the award and said that he felt very honored. «I feel very happy and moved to be among people I know, my family, my brother and so many friends,» he said and addressed everyone on a first-name basis. He then dedicated the award to his wife, Michele. «It belongs to her. Without her, I wouldn’t have done any of the things I did, both in work and in my life.» The festival’s director Christos Mitsis and program coordinator Orestis Andreadakis opened the events. They made brief reference to Costa-Gavras’s work and to his latest production, which they classified as a «dark comedy,» although the director said he preferred the term «conte amoral» (an amoral story). The film’s cynicism and sarcasm alternate with a burlesque sense of humor and a sharp social and political commentary. The film’s main character, Bruno Davert (played by Jose Garcia), is fired because his company has merged with another company and is moving to Romania. After being unemployed for two-and-a-half years, he resorts to killing the most prominent candidates for his position, in order to eliminate competition. The story is based on American writer Donald Westlake’s novel «The Ax.» Costa-Gavras described it as a «pseudo police thriller and a genuine social movie.» There is nothing realistic about the systematic murders. In the line of work, tough competition, prevailing fear and unemployment, it is the «personality that is being killed off.» Hence, the «murders» take place. «The film addresses a moral issue but not from a moral standpoint,» said Costa-Gavras.