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Costa-Gavras adapts Yánis Varoufákis bestseller on the Greek crisis

A leading and committed filmmaker of the 1970s, Costa-Gavras tackles a subject that is close to his heart, the Greek crisis born of his public debt

The Franco-Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras was undoubtedly the best placed to adapt Conversations between adults, the book that the Greek Minister of Finance Yánis Varoufákis devoted to his discussions with European leaders on the Greek debt, from his appointment in 2015. Strangely titled in English, while the title of the French book perfectly suited , Adults in the Room comes out on the screens on Wednesday, November 6th.

With rare exceptions, Costa-Gavras has mainly devoted itself to a committed political cinema, since its famous Z in 1969 on the dictatorship of colonels in Greece (1967-1974). Then he will realize The Confession (1970) State of siege (1973) Special section 1975) or Missing (1982). From politics to economics, there is only one step that crossed his film The capital in 2012 by adapting Stéphane Osmont's novel of the same name, on the hegemony of the financial world in modern societies.

“Adults in the Room” from Costa-Gavras. (Copyright Jessica Forde / Wild Bunch Distribution)

He returns to it in Adults in the Room, where the point is political as well as economic, with regard to the debates within the Eurogroup between Varoufakis and his European counterparts to reschedule the Greek debt. The director is in the line of films on a topic that, at first glance, do not lend themselves to the cinema. There had been the success of Wall Street from Oliver Stone in 1987, but it was not until the great success of Margin Call of J. C. Chandor in 2012 on the crash of Lehman Brothers Bank to truly launch the genre.

As much Chandor had managed to achieve a real financial thriller that held end to end, as the film of Costa-Gavras falls in the water, despite his talent and his attempts to animate his remarks. Politico-economic, Adults in the Room chain unbalanced weapon passes between the two parties. Varoufákis finds himself alone in front of a common front, led by Wolfgang Schäuble, German Federal Minister of Finance. Gavras denounces the financial priorities enacted by the Eurogroup, without taking into account the social consequences for his country, brushed aside by a hand. And these are only proposals kicked in touch, and reformulated, refined constantly after consultation with the Greek Prime Minister Aléxis Tsipras, who occupy the screen.

Christos Loulis in
Christos Loulis in “Adults in the Room” of Costa-Gavras. (Copyright Jessica Forde / Wild Bunch)

It's not for nothing that the book inspired by Gavras is titled Conversations between adults, the film leaving very few Brussels alcoves and verbal jousting. Yet the Greek filmmaker still films as well, diversifies his frames, rides beautiful shots in the labyrinthine corridors of the institution and directs convincing actors. But the flow of spilled words and their sterile repetition clutter the film. We come to wonder if the subject is cinematographic. Costa-Gavras tries, at the end of the course, a daring staging effect with a metaphorical choreography where Varoufákis finds himself isolated and threatened by members of the Eurogroup, but the ballet does not take, or arrives too late.

The poster of
The poster of “Adults in the Room” of Costa-Gavras. (WILD BUNCH DISTRIBUTION)

Kind : Drama / Biopic
Director : Costa-Gavras
cast : Christos Loulis, Alexandros Bourdoumis, Ulrich Tukur, Daan Schuurmans, Aurélien Recoing, Josianne Pinson, Cornelieus Obonya, George Lenz
duration : 2h04

Country : France / Greece
Exit : November 6th
Distributor : Wild Bunch Distribution

Synopsis
: After seven years of crisis, Gece is on the brink. Elections, a new breath and two men who will embody the hope of saving their country from the grip it suffers. Named by Alexis, Yanis will wage a merciless battle in the backstage and between the closed doors of European power. Where the arbitrariness of imposed austerity takes precedence over humanity and compassion. Where will be put in place means of pressure to divide the two men. Where the destiny of their people is played out. A Greek tragedy of modern times.

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