The Surface of Things

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    The Surface of Things

    Directed by



    85 min

    • Greek


    The mythical story of a girl who falls in love with a secret river. A story about how the collective dream of a society becomes its destruction and how a teenage escapist dream turns into a nightmare.



    Maria Skoula
    Maria Kalliman
    Themis Bazaka
    Marisha Triantafyllidou
    Rania Ekonomidou
    Nicolas Antypas
    Ancy Biniadaki
    Dionysis Efthymiopoulos
    Panos Voutsaras
    Alexander Müll

    Director's Statement

    The 1980s are considered by many to be the key to understanding the social and political issues of today, all these contradictions and progressive reforms that led to disappointments. We, who were teenagers in Athens at the time, know well how it is to live in an ugly and peculiarly attractive city, in the midst of progressive politics yet conservative mentalities, in times of optimism and naivety, in ugly neighborhoods that were about to develop at any cost, in claustrophobic flats, dirty vacant lots, depressing schools and a depressive everyday life. We were kids growing up in this special decade, which ended with a big bang at the fall the Berlin Wall, though we then had no idea, what all this really meant. While reading Angela Dimitrakaki's novella, I immediately recognized that "neighborhood of hell" in which her characters were growing up. It felt like I knew them all. They spoke of myths deeply related with my own adolescence. And I began with them, so many women together, to narrate a short tale of female adolescence. And at the same time to make a deep and honest love confession to Athens, to our own Athens. To the city, which we know like an old best friend, like an older sister, who we miss and love and hate and long for. We believe that while growing older we tend to forget our teenage myths. But when we are sometimes forced to look back at them, we then realize the simple bitter truth, that wherever we go, our past defines us. And this very realization is part of the coming of age process. Only some never grow old, never grow up. When pressure seems to exceed our limits, it is them who find the cracks and break away into the warm wet embrace of ancient underground rivers.

    Nancy Biniadaki

    Nancy Biniadaki


    Nancy Biniadaki was born in Athens in 1971. She lives in Berlin. She studied Greek Philology at Athens University and Film Direction at Stavrakos Film School. She received a MA in Film Direction from Sheffield Hallam University (1998) with scholarships from the Greek Film Center and the Onassis Foundation. She has directed short films and numerous documentaries for the series PARASKINIO of the Greek National Television ERT. She has also directed theatre performances in Athens, and videos for the stage for the National Theatre of Greece, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Athens Concert Hall Megaron and others. She has worked for many years as assistant director in theatre and opera in Greece and Italy, as well as at the Closing Ceremony of the Athens Olympics, 2004. She has received the Melina Merkouri State Award, Greece 1998, and the Grimme Preis Award, Germany 2016.