Son of Sofia
O Gios tis Sofias
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Misha (Viktor Khomut) is an 11-year-old boy with a penchant for fantasy in this haunting, provocative film. Relocated from Russia to Greece to be with mother Sofia (Valery Tscheplanowa), he finds that she’s married to a new man, the elderly Mr. Nikos (Thanassis Papageorgiou). Miserable and cowed, the youngster takes refuge in a mental world much more alluring than the real one; meanwhile, his mother is caught between the rival desires of the two males in her life.
Elina Psykou’s drama is set in Athens during the 2004 Olympics—much happier times for Greece, but ones in which we can see signs of dysfunction both in the past and in the near future. For all its fascination with childhood and fantasy, the film has a strong, if complex, political dimension to it. Look for it beneath the coolly composed surfaces and repressed desires; Psykou is far from a didactic filmmaker, but she has a strong grasp of right and wrong, and Son of Sofia, for all its strangeness and mystery, has both feet planted firmly on the ground.
Jury Award, Best International Narrative Feature, Tribeca 17