CULTURE

Movie pricks the ‘Bubble’of life and love

A foustanella-wearing taverna tout falls in love with the crowned Miss Mass Tourism who, in turn, is dating an older, multi-millionaire businessman. They are joined by a cold-blooded killer – a member of the October 17 group – a blind aunt who loves watching Brazilian soap operas, and a travel agent. These are the main characters in Nikos Perakis’s latest film «Bubble,» which opened in mainstream movie theaters last week. It is a social comedy featuring stock market ‘bubbles,’ shady deals, graft and organized crime, as well as a love affair between two young people who feel they are being guided by destiny. In «Bubble,» Perakis makes harsh judgments and leaves few areas of public life untouched: State authorities become involved in stock market scandals, the Church has a finger in every pie, and mob dons, terrorist groups, the mass media and prostitution are all links in the same chain. So who are the innocents? «There are millions of innocents – in every sense of the word,» said Perakis in an interview with Kathimerini. «That is why all this happens… But if you look closely, all these events are only a backdrop to the main story and they only concern the main characters of the film, not the audience… It’s like life; very few things concern us directly.» Though the title of the film, «Bubble,» seems to refer to the Athens Stock market crisis that peaked in September 1999, Perakis argues that the events of that time and allegations of entangled interest are merely the window dressing of the plot, which is centered on the love affair between two young people who have a rocky past and an uncertain future. Many of the themes in the film are taken from the daily news; they are issues which are analyzed and commented on every day. «The real problem,» argues Perakis, «is that they are never really commented, analyzed or put in perspective… Have you ever seen the news present a decision taken by the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council? The director would have to slap or rape his secretary to make the news.» Perakis looks at life through a pessimist’s eyes in «Bubble» as much as he did in his previous film, «In the Company of Women.» He seems to see use and abuse in every theme he looks at. But where does Perakis differ from those who say that everything is going to pot? «I know those people well, one often meets them in your world, in the world of journalists. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about critics. «’Bubble’ is the most optimistic film I have ever made. You could even say that it is my most naive because of the happy ending that takes place in a politically exotic country that is not famous for its high standard of living.» The ability to produce inexpensive, but quality, goods, will not only affect our ability to consume. It will also affect employment, the most serious problem we are facing.