International Competition – Cutting Edge

To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón

The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea

Syllas Tzoumerkas

Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden 2019. 121 Min.
color. DCP. Gr/e

One of the things about miracles is that they are primarily a matter of interpretation. Maybe that is why the title, which the director Syllas Tzoumerkas has chosen for his cleverly nested and intractable psychodrama, is so fitting. What begins as a rough thriller with the hardened policewoman Elisabeth, soon turns into an increasingly unstoppable and sinister chamber piece set in a remote part of Greece, where Elisabeth’s loneliness strangely intersects with the fate of Rita, the sister of the local night club singer and drug enthusiast Manolis, whose sudden death has brought excitement to the sleepy town of Mesolongi.


Like in his first two feature films Homeland (2010) and A Blast (2014), Tzoumerkas also works from the inside out in his latest auteur film, and takes a both metaphorical and direct approach to his favourite topics such as identity, belonging and family, the private and the political. The water, the sea, is never far away, and like a corset, it winds itself ever more tightly around the enigmatic action, which in spite of all hopelessness leaves room for redemption. (pj)


DirectorSyllas Tzoumerkas
ScreenplayYoula Boudali, Syllas Tzoumerkas
CinematographyPetrus Sjövik
EditingAndreas Wodraschke
MusicJean-Paul Wall, drog_A_tek, Phoebus
WithAngeliki Papoulia, Youla Boudali, Christos Passalis, Argyris Xafis
ProducerMaria Drandaki