The Cistern | Chicago Reader

The Cistern

Five 11-year-old boys play soccer, ride their bikes, and dive into a concrete cistern in this 2001 Greek last-summer-of-childhood drama. Some political references will likely be obscure to non-Greeks, such as the flashbacks to a stern grandmother who puts a curse on one of the boys' families at the time of the 1967 military takeover. Other sequences seem like botched metaphors for wounded national identity (the heavy-handed intercutting of a boy's death in an underwater intake fan and the slicing of a watermelon), and there are only occasional moments of emotional authenticity, as when one boy fires a couple of well-justified slugs at an abusive dad. Christos Dimas directed. In Greek with subtitles. 105 min.

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