Jacqueline Lentzou (director)
24 June 2022 (released)
22 June 2022
Artemis (Sofia Kokkali) is back in Athens after a very long time to look after her father Paris (Lazaros Georgakopoulos) who has muscular dystrophy is leaving him debilitated. They clearly have had a difficult relationship in the past, which seems to be apparent to the extended family who are in the house. This could be why they are interviewing for carers, though this isn’t clear if it is to assist Artemis or take over later on.
Trying to reconnect with a person with whom she never had a good relation with would be problematical at the best of times. With the increased pressure and frustration of Paris’s condition it is much harder with Artemis, who may have mental health issues herself. At times taking herself into her own world for relief as she slides and dances across a wet patio. Only for the real-world pressures to hit her several times; when she breaks down stuffing the duvet into the cover, later playing out a possible incident earlier in her life as herself and father which turns ugly.
Nevertheless Artemis dutifully learns to look her father taking care of his diet and exercise. And screws up when she gets a wheelchair for him, and castigated for it by the professionals. The family are in the background somewhat, with the interviews and goofing about playing charades and table-tennis, providing debatable support for Artemis and light relief for the viewer.
There are plenty of ifs and maybes in Moon, 66 Question. The only certainty being that Paris is very ill, he and Artemis have had difficulties over the years and a later revelation. Much is left to the viewer to build from with old VHS recordings interspersing the narrative, and Artemis’s voiceover, as do the various Tarot cards looking to the future. All will have a clear meaning for debut writer and director Jacqueline Lentzou, possibly less so to the audience.
There is a matter of factness about the film but it is by no means cold. Lentzou coaxes out good performances from the cast, Kokkali is particularly expressive with her facial expressions at times not requiring words.
If elements are abstract at times, the central tenet of the film is clear: the late understanding and reconciliation between Artemis and Paris. This is beautifully, touchingly developed throughout with a wonderful scene when they are both eating ice cream sealing it.
There are screenings and Q&As at the following venues:
Woman With A Movie Camera, BFI Southbank | June 22
Preview screening and Q&A with Jacqueline Lentzou
Preview Screening and Introduction, ICA | June 23
Preview screening and Intro by Jacqueline Lentzou
Short films of Jacqueline Lentzou and Q&A, ICA | June 24
Screening of Jacqueline Lentzou’s short films, followed by a Q&A