THE MIRACLE OF THE SARGASSO SEA
To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón
Directed by Syllas Tzoumerkas
Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden | 121 min | 2019 | thriller | Greek
In a small eel-farming town in the west of Greece, two women live solitary lives while dreaming of getting away. Elisabeth is a once-ambitious policewoman forced to relocate from Athens ten years ago and now living a joyless, hung-over life; Rita is the quiet, mysterious sister of a lounge singer in the local disco. When a sudden death upsets the town and turns the local community upside-down, the two women who had been ignoring each other’s existence begin drifting towards each other. As the secrets hidden in the swamps begin to surface, they will have a chance to become each other’s saviours.
From the director of HOMELAND and A BLAST
Cast & Crew
Director: Syllas Tzoumerkas
Screenwriter: Youla Boudali, Syllas Tzoumerkas
Cast: Angeliki Papoulia (The Lobster, Dogtooth), Christos Passalis (Dogtooth), Youla Boudali (In the Fade)
Producer: Maria Drandaki (Homemade Films)
Festivals & Awards
World Premiere: Berlinale Panorama
Lynchian psychodrama in the sun
Not since Gene Hackman’s Jimmy Doyle in French Connection have we seen a nastier cop than the one embodied by Angeliki Papoulia
Papoulia and Boudali give two visceral performances. The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea is visually compelling, and a show of great creative ambition from Tzoumerkas.
Papoulia’s female cop on the skids vibrates at an unnerving pitch that makes Nicole Kidman’s similarly styled characterisation in Destroyer look positively half-baked. Tzoumerkas’s follow-up confirms that he’s a director of some brilliance and daring (…) Stylish execution and the increasing cachet of Papoulia (a Yorgos Lanthimos regular, from Dogtooth to The Lobster)
There is much to admire in Tzoumerkas’ new film. Some of the early scenes, as well as some near the end of the movie, have an epic quality. […] Dedicated performances, especially Papoulia’s and Boudali’s, provide a powerful, dramatic gravity.
Reminiscent of 1980s Lynch Tzoumerkas does masterfully paint the stifling atmosphere of a godforsaken town
~The Hollywood Reporter
An exhilarating exercise in genre filmmaking with legitimate dramatic aspirations writer/director Syllas Tzoumerkas applies an hypnotically creepy blend of surrealism and near-absurdist flair that would do the Greek New Wave proud. Framed and shot with ominous beauty, the film’s imagery often looks strikingly picturesque while filling you with an unshakable sense of dread (think Yorgos Lanthimos’ filmography). The editing is ace, giving the scenes such a peculiar cadence that constantly mystifies.