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The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea

Syllas Tzoumerkas
To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón
Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden 2019 / 121’
So Long, My Son The Wild Goose Lake

A well-acted psychological detective story by one of the most important directors of the Greek New Wave. Set in a harbor town, this is the story of two women who are unexpectedly brought together by a dark, deeply held secret. Elisabeth (Angeliki Papoulia, known from Jorgos Lantimos’s films) is a fearless, alcoholic police chief who was forced to leave Athens and take over a provincial police station. Lonely Rita (Youla Boudali) works at an eel factory and wants to break free from the influence of her brother, a star on the local nightclub scene (Christos Passalis). Their paths cross during an unlucky night that will forever reverse the balance of power in the town. The richly detailed and critical portrait of a dilapidated Greek village is interwoven with an emancipating, feminizing narrative and a reflection on the systemic harm suffered by the most vulnerable members of society. The entirety is imbued with a film noir atmosphere, with Elisabeth, the police officer, wading through a labyrinth of unclear human relationships. Having been compared with David Lynch’s hypnotic works, Tzoumerkas (A Blast) draws us further and further into circles of evil that it may be very difficult to get out of.

Sebastian Smoliński

Syllas Tzoumerkas

Syllas Tzoumerkas was born in Thessaloniki in 1978. He studied theater, directing and acting in Athens, Utrecht and New York. His short film The Devouring Eyes took part in the Cinéfondation competition at the Cannes Festival in 2001 and later won the Jury Prize in Karlovy Vary. Tzoumerkas made his full-length debut in 2010 with Homeland, which premiered at the Venice Festival as part of Critics’ Week. The film also took part in the competition at the 11th New Horizons. His second full-length feature, A Blast, was presented, among other places, in the main competition at the Locarno Festival in 2014.


1998 I Kalothanati (short)

1999 Ta matia pou trone / The Devouring Eyes (short)

2002 Vrohi / Rain (short)

2010 Ojczyzna / Hòra proèlefsis / Homeland

2014 Płomień / A Blast

2017 A Manifesto for the Un-communal (short doc.)

2019 Tajemnice Morza Sargassowego / To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón / The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea

Cast & Crew

director Syllas Tzoumerkas
screenplay Youla Boudali, Syllas Tzoumerkas
cinematography Petrus Sjövik
editing Andreas Wodraschke
music Jean-Paul Wall, drog_A_tek, Phoebus
cast Angeliki Papoulia, Youla Boudali, Christos Passalis, Argyris Xafis, Thanasis Dovris,
producer Maria Drandaki, Titus Kreyenberg, Ellen Havenith, Olle Wirenhed, Anthony Muir
production Homemade Films, unafilm, PRPL, Kakadua Filmproduktion, Film i Väst, ZDF/Arte, Eurimages, Greek Film Centre, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Nederlands Filmfonds, Svenska Filminstitutet, Creative Europe Media
Polish distributor Against Gravity
language Greek, English
colouration colour