One of three World Premieres at this year’s Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney Australia is a truly delightful feel-good road movie, The debut feature from queer Greek filmmaker Stelios Kammitsis is one of those romances you are never sure will work, but the journey is so worth it anyway.
It all starts in a seaside town in Greece where Victor Vasilis Magouliotis an ex-Olympic diving champion is now looking after his very sick grandmother. He’s quite a loner content to get part time work in a local upholstery factory, but when his granny dies, he decides its time to leave town.
Many years ago his mother had done just exactly that taking of with a hot German who became her husband and together they started their own family in Bavaria. We gather from odd phone calls that this is still a sore point for Victor who has unresolved issues.
She just didn’t leave Victor at the time, but she also left her old Audi which up to now had been collecting moths in the garage. It does at least still work so Victor sets forth to drive on to the Ferry that will take him to Italy.
Whilst onboard he attracts the attention Matthias Anton Weil of an overly confident German ‘student’ who is returning home after another summer running wild on Greek island beaches. Victor may be totally unaware, but we can see Matthias is flirting with him but we are not sure if it is to get a lift in the car, or if he has an alternative motive.
They make strange traveling companions . The uptight Victor doesn’t want to talk about why he is making the journey, and insists that they take the fastest route using the big motorways. Chatty Matthias on other hand, outs his foot down and makes Victor drive on secondary roads that take them through some stunning Italian scenery.
At one point Matthias makes him pull over on the pretext he wants to go toilet at the roadside whereas in fact he wants to swim in the lake. It takes so persuading to get Victor to join him, and when he does we can finally see him starting to relax.
The trip is not without incident as they get pulled over for speeding and Victor is also ticketed for not having a driving license. We have no real idea of Victor’s sexuality at this point as it is quite irrelevant, yet what we see is the two of them bickering at times like an old married couple.
At a side stop to attend a wedding of friends of Matthias, a very relaxed and drunk Victor is starting to realise that his feelings for his new friend is something that he wasn’t prepared for.
When they finally reach Victor’s mother home there is a birthday party in full swing for his very young step -brother, and we know that this reunion is not going to turn out like anything he had planned in his mind. But then again, neither will this road trip.
Beautifully written, and kudos to Kammitsis for making two extremely authentic and well-rounded characters so well played by his two talented leads. Its a refreshing wee tale that is totally unpredictable