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XENIA
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Directed by: Panos H. Koutras
Runtime: 128 min
Year: 2014
Country: Greece / France / Belgium
Rated: Not Rated
Language: Greek & Albanian
Subtitles: English
Film Type: Dramatic
Cast: Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Aggelos Papadimitriou, Romanna Lobats, Marissa Triandafyllidou, Yannis Stankoglou, Patty Pravo

When their Albanian mother dies, 16-year-old Dany finds his 18-year-old brother, Odysseus (Ody), and convinces him that they need to travel across Greece in search of their allegedly wealthy, Greek father. Dany and Ody need their father’s Greek nationality to stay in the country. Put on the trail to Thessaloniki by a family friend, Dany convinces Ody that he should compete in the Greek Idol competition: if he can win, it will help them gain citizenship.

Along the way, Dany loses his pet bunny, Dido, and gets himself and Ody into trouble when he pulls a gun on prejudiced bullies. After hiding at an abandoned hotel, living as fugitives, and sharing intimate moments with his brother, Dany gains new insight into what it may be like to grow up. Ody, who feels the weight of responsibility for his younger brother, is both dismayed by Dany’s behavior and compelled to protect him from bigotry and hardship.

Quirky, colorful, strange, and often dramatic, Xenia blends reality and fantasy in a coming-of-age story about brotherhood, lost childhood, and the quest to fulfill one’s dreams.

Winner: Q Hugo Award for Best Feature—2014 Chicago International Film Festival, Special Jury Award—2014 Gijón International Film Festival

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