Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou’s absurdist yet poignant debut imagines a world in which a mysterious plague robs people of their memories, forcing them to construct new identities from scratch.
In an Athens beset by a rapid, unexplained increase in amnesia cases, middle-aged Aris (Aris Servetalis) is found sitting alone on a bus with no memory of his previous life or identity. At a recovery center for fellow amnesiacs, Aris’s doctors assign their patients a series of tasks in order to re-learn how to live – from riding a bike to receiving a comically awkward lap dance – while dutifully documenting their exploits in a series of Polaroids. Aris meets fellow patient Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), and their fumbling attempts at connection seem to offer a glimmer of hope in an increasingly lonely world. Traces of countryman Yorgos Lanthimos and other “Greek Weird Wave”filmmakers can be found in the film’s deadpan sense of humor and gentle surrealism, yet first-time feature filmmaker Christos Nikou brings a surprising tenderness and soulfulness to Aris’s metaphysical journey. Nikou’s allegorical vision of a society that’s both familiar and unsettlingly strange would have been plenty potent before the current pandemic, but in these uncertain, isolated times, Apples takes on even greater resonance.
CAST: Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovasili, Anna Kalaitzidou, Argiris Bakirtzis
In Competition: Narrative Feature Award
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