Focus on Attenberg
The greek film Attenberg takes part to the Official Selection of the LUX Prize 2011. It tells the story of Marina. Finding the human species strange and repellent, she keeps her distance. She observes it through songs of suicide, mammal documentaries and the sex education lessons she receives from her only friend, Bella. A stranger comes to town and challenges her to a table football duel. Meanwhile, her father ritualistically prepares for his exit from the 20th century. Caught between the two men and Bella, Marina investigates the wondrous mystery of human fauna.
Attenberg's main actress Ariane Label won the Volpi Cup for the Best Actress in Venice Mostra 2010. She was also awarded at the 23rd Premiers Plans Festival.
Attenberg received the Special Jury Prize at Tessaloniki, the Best Women’s Feature Film Prize at the Dortmund|Cologne International Women’s Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the 11th New Horizons International Film Festival.
The film opens with the two girls’ intertwined tongues, it continues amid spit and animal cries, in an alienating atmosphere. The backdrop is the almost-metaphysical landscape of an industrial town by the sea, a symbol of “bourgeois pride”– explains the father to his daughter, while they look from above at the not particularly stunning landscape.
But, beyond the memorable lines, the film’s main obsession is sex: there are dreams of penises hanging like prickly pears from the branches of “dick-trees”, the smell of stallions in heat is described, and so on. Meanwhile, Marina meets a man, and for the first time in her life she feels attracted to someone of her own species.
With the two protagonists’ strange strolls, music by Suicide and Françoise Hardy’s “legendary” “Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge” serving as a counterpoint, the film explores the double theme of initiation with life and death, amid recurring scenes and an auteur-style intellectualism redeemed only at intervals by the original directing. “The 20th century is overrated”, one of the characters says at one point. The same can be said of certain films, even though they end up in competition.
Produced by Haos Film, Faliro House Productions, Boo Productions and Stefi Productions, with support from the Greek Film Centre, the Swedish Film Institute and the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, Attenberg is sold internationally by Match Factory.