Dead Europe (2012)
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Australia's Tony Krawitz (Jewboy, The Tall Man) directs the adaptation of The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas' award-winning novel in this searing film about history, guilt and secrets. Ewen Leslie delivers a great performance as photographer Isaac, whose father's death in suburban Sydney reveals the schism in his family and prompts a return to the ancestral homeland. On a trip to his parent's village in Greece, he learns something of his father's cursed history. At first he dismisses the revelation as superstitious nonsense, but over the course of his travels - from Greece to Paris to Budapest - Isaac is forced to confront the anti-Semitism of the past, the embedded bigotry in the bones of Europe and the nature of inherited guilt. It is on this fateful trip that Isaac will learn the truth of his family's migration to Australia, their refusal to ever return to Greece, and the burden he continues to bear as a consequence of acts committed years before his birth. Krawitz sensitively depicts this clash of mythology and a very contemporary reality in this daring and enigmatic film populated by spirits and outcasts. … More
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Critic Reviews for Dead Europe
Although it may lack a raw, confident force to make it truly special, 'Dead Europe' completely nails its devastating, unexpected ending.
Like the Eurozone itself, helmer Tony Krawitz's first full-length fiction feature "Dead Europe" struggles to cohere into a convincing whole, despite sections of commanding authority.
Director Tony Krawitz certainly can't be faulted for his ambition, yet, despite some magnificent technical credits, his cinematic adaptation of this controversial book ends up muddled and misguided.
Even if the plot takes too long to come together, this film has a darkly foreboding tone that's thoroughly mesmerising, drawing us into its mysteries while touching on issues of race, religion and sexuality.
Stunning and moodily atmospheric but dramatically sketchy, Dead Europe gives a mere snapshot of a continent falling to pieces and ultimately fails to bring its intriguing personal story to life.
Macabre, spiteful and all too bleak in its juxtaposition of generations and their transference of guilt.
Director Tony Krawitz pulls off several unsettling moodshifts, and takes extremely seriously the old-world traditions and superstitions a gorefest like Hostel could only sneer and snigger at.
It's intriguing and pretentious in equal measure, capturing the feeling of being adrift in a foreign world, but then failing to capitalise on it.
It is one of the most disturbing, and intelligent, Australian films for a long time.
Dark, and emotionally claustrophobic, Dead Europe is tough to sit through. Talky and severe, it is a puzzle film, a movie where one is asked to work hard at deciphering its strangeness.
The powerful scenes are wonderful, I think. There's some tremendous scenes.
I was confronted, fascinated, and ultimately only slightly frustrated.
The film might have felt truer to its source if it were either pulpier or more avant-garde.
The result is a bleak, atmospheric and utterly seductive thriller that doesn't offer up its secrets readily.
Dense and intense, Dead Europe is cinematically alive, with director Tony Krawitz sure of his footing as he takes us in close to his characters, prying, probing, pricking ... and involving us at a deep emotional level
Audience Reviews for Dead Europe
My last film for MIFF was definitly one of the more interesting ones. Adapted from Christos Tsiolkas's novel, It follows Issac (Ewan Leslie) an Australian son of Greek Parents, works as a skilled photographer and has his own gallery. While he's planning to visit Greece himself this conflicts with his family's dark past. what follows is Issac's journey to discovery what they've been hiding and the meaning of a mysterious curse thats been linked to the death of his late father. I do have some problems when it comes to undertanding the themes of Tsiolkas' fictional story, thus in the film's plot I failed to emotionally connect yet sympathise with many of the film's major characters. I have no criticisms however to Tony Krawitz's Direction and the cinematography of the film; making a very pretty cultural portrait of Greece and other countries. I also have no criticisms to the acting, it was well casted and supurbly acted. Kodi Smit-McPhee's character was probably the only one who you could sympathise with because of how well his character was written and acted. overall I thought Dead Europe was very good, but I can't say I really liked it.More
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