Focus on Attenberg Director Athina Rachel Tsangari
Focus on Athina Rachel Tsangari by Nick Shaw, British member of '27 Times Cinema'*. Athina Rachel Tsangari is the Greek director of Attenberg, however she also the producer of the breakthrough film Dogtooth and the forthcoming Alps. This puts her at the forefront of a new crop of Greek filmmakers who are reshaping the cinematic representation of this currently troubled nation. Tsangari herself sees no distinction between the role of director and producer, both positions holding responsibility for the vision of a film, from the very first day of production until the last.
Her career to date has shown distinction in a wide variety of disciplines, not only in film. Although her films are shot in Greece, their scripts in the Greek language, Tsangari was schooled in the USA education system where she founded an international short film inAustin, Texas. This is also where she met the director Richard Linklater and played a minor role in his acclaimed film, Slackers. She was also the video director and projections designer at the 2004 Athens Olympics opening closing ceremonies. In addition to her current film slate, Tsangari is also designing site-specific projections for the new Acropolis Museum in Greece.
Tsangari claims to be fascinated by the relationship between nature and industry, her films exploring this dynamic by skating across several cultural taboos including developing sexuality and cremation (illegal in Greece). She writes animality into her characters, and this creates a strangeness that is at first shocking and sometimes confusing – a measure that is explained by simply “preferring to speak in biological terms to psychological ones”*. Closer acquaintance with her work reveals a highly logical and compassionate filmmaker, closely attuned to the emotional life of growing up, as well as an ability to illustrate the plight of her homeland in an intelligent and fun way.
* Via '27 Times Cinema' established in 2010, the LUX Prize gives the opportunity to 27 European young cinema lovers to be substantially involved in the Venice International Film Festival where they can watch, report and reflect upon films.