Suntan – Film Review
Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Writers: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Syllas Tzoumerkas
Stars: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou, Dimi Hart
Kostis arrives on a small Greek island during the winter. It is an island built upon its tourist industry and has a mere 900 residents during the colder months. He is to take over as the local GP, as the old one has recently retired. He is a man in his 40s and seems to have little baggage, with no discernible sign of family or friends. As the Summer arrives, floods of tourists come to enjoy life on the island. One group of holiday makers welcome Kostis into their midst. They are a group of young, beautiful tourists and treat him as a novelty item. That is until Kostis starts to become obsessed with one of the group.
This is a new film by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, who previously directed Wasted Youth (2011) and Sto spiti (2014). The director is from Athens, and this film is largely based around the Greek island resorts and the hedonism of the holiday makers during their stay. It paints a picture of a lonely man who is desperate for companionship.
There is something very engrossing in this tale. While the ending may turn some off, what goes before is quietly captivating as we root for the underdog in search of love. Kostis is a doctor, a profession at the top of society, but he is also downtrodden and depressed. A man that did not achieve what he expected in life and is left as a local GP in poor living conditions. The young tourists are broke, their only aspiration is to have a good time. Their reasons for accepting Kostis into their group are also dubious. He is not their equal, based purely on his appearance and age. It’s a rewarding film for its mix of ideas about our roles in society and the complexities within.