During the moon-shot summer of 1969, a ten-year-old Athens boy refuses to accept the death of his beloved father, concocting ever more far-fetched fictions to account for his absence. The repeated views of the starry heavens and the linking of juvenile grief with astronautical milestones are an obvious homage to Lasse Hallstrom's My Life as a Dog, but this slow, somber drama could have used some of its predecessor's liveliness and variation of tone. First-time director Penny Panayotopoulou's approach to the delicate subject matter is commendably tactful and tasteful—it's also underdramatized, monotonous, and short on humor. A closing dedication invokes the director's loss of her parents; the film might have been sharpened if she'd made it more explicitly autobiographical and connected the protagonist's frantic fiction making more clearly to the growth of an artist. In Greek with subtitles. 108 min.
By Martin Rubin