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New Release Review - Miss Violence

A girl commits suicide on her 11th birthday. What led her to such an act?

Directed by: Alexandros Avranas
Starring: Themis Panou, Reni Pittaki, Kostas Antalopoulos, Constantinos Athanasiades, Chloe Bolota



While her family are busy celebrating her 11th birthday, Angeliki climbs onto the railing of her apartment balcony and, after a quick smirk at the camera, leaps to her death. Her family, consisting of her grandparents, her single mother, and her young brother and sister, attempt to go on with their lives, but Father (Panou) becomes increasingly agitated at the attention his grand-daughter's death is bringing on the reclusive family. Just what is he hiding?
You can probably answer that question without knowing any more details of the plot of Alexandros Avranas's grim little slow burner. As soon as we meet the nervous character known only as Father, we twig just what's going on here. Avranas seems to think he's keeping us guessing, however, by concealing the shocking details until the film's highly exploitative final act. Only the most innocent of viewers will be taken by surprise by the revelation of what this family's dark secret is, however.
Avranas skirts around directly clueing us in to the extent that the more the story progresses, the more we begin to think he's about to spring a revelation based on something a lot more original than what we've been guessing from the movie's opening. But our suspicions are confirmed when Avranas presents us with an incendiary scene that instantly vindicates our fears. It's a highly exploitative moment that fails to arouse the shock the director is clearly aiming for, since we've expected as much all along.
For roughly three quarters of its running time, Miss Violence draws us into its Dogtooth type family dynamic, and Panou is outstanding as Father, but the film is ultimately let down by a final act that enters A Serbian Film territory and treats its subject matter with exceedingly bad taste.
6/10


Eric Hillis

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