From the Edge of the City

An honest and skilfully mounted depiction of a group of young men who are drawn into lives of crime and prostitution in contemporary Athens, From the Edge of the City is more about cultural alienation than sexual politics. Director Constantinos Giannaris’ great achievement has to do with the way he conveys a sense of multidimensional alienation. The youngsters in From the Edge of the City are Russian Pontians, people of Greek ancestry from the Black Sea area of Kazakhstan, who return to their ancestral homeland only to find themselves strangers in their new country. The boys are not as ostracised as the Albanians they insult, but have no illusions they’ll be accepted as fully Greek. Most reside in the Athens suburb of Menidi, but make a living in Omonia, the city’s famous sex and crime district. While they sell their bodies to men, they distinguish themselves from ‘faggots’. Sex is easily available, love visible but out of reach. They don’t fit into their ‘natural’ identities (family, national, ethnic, sexual) yet have themselves formed a community with its own values.
(1998. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 90 mins.)

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