THE VETERAN is a new feature film I’m working on since a few months ago. The film was presented in the 9th Crossroads Market, in the 54th Thessaloniki Film Festival were it received a special mention and the script counseling prize by Film Initiative.
Here is some more info:
Aris has it all: a trendy loft, a fast sports car, a pretty girlfriend – until he loses his job. Penniless, at age 34, he is forced to leave everything and relocate to his long deceased grandfather’s flat, right above his parents’ house. Aris’ high-tech gadgets find their place along his pop’s old-fashioned furniture, while he re-discovers his old neighborhood: security alarms, higher fences and a gang of self-proclaimed nationalist teenage bullies are now part of the suburban picture.
Soon after, Aris reunites with his highschool crash and the freak of the school who still live around, both unemployed and eager to hang out with the former teen-King. Seduced by his reclaimed A-male status and disappointed with his fruitless job hunt, Aris reconsiders the temporary arrangement as an attractive option. But as he feels more and more at home, the figure of his grandfather Aristides, a WW2 veteran, starts casting an intense influence on him.
Aris picks up his grandpa’s habits and tries on his clothes, confirming their stunning resemblance. When he accidentally meets a former comrade of Aristides, who is now demented and mistakes him for his old friend, a well-kept secret will be revealed.
The next time he visits the city center, he is dressed in his grandfathers’ veteran suit and carries along his sword.
THE VETERAN is an urban homecoming dramedy. Hometown is the suburb of Papagou, a striking exception of old-style suburbia in the otherwise arbitrarily built Athens, founded in the ‘50s to house families of army generals.
Moving temporarily in their grandparents’ empty houses is a fast-spreading phenomenon among the 30-something unemployed in today’s Athens. In hope of a better future, the newcomers don’t take over the space of their ancestors. Their stuff appears misplaced in this foreign, old-fashioned environment in which they live as unproductive pensioners, supported by their families.
In the country’s public discourse, the current economic crisis is constantly paralleled to WW2 – the war our grandparents courageously fought. These long gone hardworking patriots are the archetype out of which modern Greek society constantly generates distorted replicas of patriotic duty and moral integrity. Through this desperate quest for role-models in the past resurfaces the polarity that led Greece into a brutal civil war, right after WW2.
THE VETERAN narrates the pessimistic, Coen-style journey of a man in search of a hero within a blindfolded society. Pierced with irony and humor, the film aspires to be a transparent mirror between two generations that, aptly enough, reunite under the same roof: the deceased heroes and the new outcasts.