Apartment in Athens (first feature)

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Apartment in Athens (Appartamento ad Atene)

Apartment in Athens (Appartamento ad Atene)

original title:

Appartamento ad Atene

directed by:


Heidrun Schleef, Ruggero Dipaola, Luca De Benedittis, from the novel by Glenway Wescott, with the same title


set design:

costume design:


L'Occhio e la Luna, A-Movie Productions, Alba Produzioni, Luce Cinecittà, supported by Ministero della Cultura, with the support of Regione Lazio, Media Programme, Apulia Film Commission






film run:



35mm - colour

release date:


festivals & awards:

Athens, 1943. An apartment is requisitioned to provide accommodation for a German officer. In the apartment live the Helianos, a middle-aged couple who used to be well-off. He is an intellectual, moderate and patient. She is an anxious housewife. They have a ten-year old son who is filled with melodramatic revenge fantasies and a twelve-year old daughter. With the arrival of Captain Kalter everything is wiped out. The methodical, ascetic, cruel Kalter is a military god who inflicts terror. And the Helianos give in, submissive. They are now servants, with no identity other than their acquiescence. The will of the military god is their only worry. The apartment enshrouds them like an epidermis. At night, clinging to each other on the folding bed in the kitchen, they weave wild ravings: they dread the following day’s orders, they exchange sparse, terse words. They are afraid of making noise, they don’t want to move anything. Then, suddenly the absence. The master leaves for Germany and the servants find out that freedom doesn’t have any meaning and that the ordeal goes on. When Kalter comes back, they feel relieved. He is a changed man: he’s kinder, even indulgent. His indulgency is bewildering. But it is a fragile balance. Underground currents of hatred flow secretly and prepare a chilling revenge.