In Homeland, dualisms intertwine, creating a complex and fascinating emotional narration, where a decades-old secret connects two families over two periods and planes. Recent riots in Athens form the unstable backdrop of a family drama, while documentary photos of riots against the military junta illustrate an interpretation of the Greek national anthem.
Twenty years ago, Gena gave up her younger son to her brother’s family, which was able to provide a better future for her child. When the secret is exposed, the child’s real and foster siblings must face the consequences of the complex truth. In his debut film, director Syllas Tzoumerkas reveals images of Greece ranging from the independence struggle, when the anthem, Hymn to Liberty, was written, overthrow of the junta in the 1970s, to the present modern country torn by internal economic strife. The two families’ complicated story serves as metaphor for the topsy-turvy history of their homeland, resembling the trials of mythical heroes: the father’s sins pass on to sons, who are too weak to cope.
Born in 1978 in Thessaloniki, Tzoumerkas studied theatre, film directing and acting at the University of Athens, L. Stavrakos Film School in Instituut Media en Representatie in Utrecht and the Stella Adler Studio in New York. He has directed shorts, Ta matia pou trone (1999, official selection of Cinéfoundation at Cannes Festival in 2001, jury award at the festival in Carlsbad in 2001) and Vrohi (2002, Greek Film Award for the best short film) and TV documentaries in the series Fakeloi, Paraskinio and Fyles tis Athinas. His full-length debut Homeland (2010) first screened nationally during Critic’s Week at the film festival in Venice. As an actor he has worked with Blitz Ensemble and The Erasers, and played a role in the film Wasted Youth (2011) by Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel.
1998 I Kalothanati (short)
1999 Ta matia pou trone / The Devouring Eyes (short)
2002 Vrohi / Rain (short)
2004 Ezra Pound – I Wanted to Write a Paradise (episode of TV series Paraskinio)
2010 Ojczyzna / Hòra proèlefsis / Homeland