Greeks have always had a turbulent history; but from the time of gods and heroes, they have also counted on the power of Eros in order to overcome their trials, to fight and to free themselves. Christopher Papakaliatis’ second feature, Worlds Apart, taps into that fact. “Love and struggle, as peculiar as it may sound, are two notions that ultimately always coexist, like two sides of the same coin.They are two anthropocentric traits, thus I found it impossible to write a story without drawing from both”, says the director. “ The ‘villain’ in this film is the harsh reality that has been imposed on Greece and Europe entirely due to the political situation. Employing love and the need for a deeper connection as vehicles, I attempted to make a deeply human story during an inhuman reality.”
In his film three love stories of three generations unfold in the streets of crisis-ridden contemporary Athens. The young Daphne (Niki Vakali) falls for Farris (Tawfeek Barhom), a Syrian refugee; Elise (Andrea Osvárt), a corporate-minded woman who comes to Athens to help the lay-off process in a multinational company, realizes that money and power are not all there is to life when she meets Giorgos (Christopher Papakaliatis); and the disenchanted housewife Maria (Maria Kavoyianni), recovers her lost spark in her 60s when a German librarian, Sebastian (J.K. Simmons), approaches her romantically. Despite a tragic flow of events in which all characters partake, in the end, love is victorious as it will always be with a people that place the God of love, Eros, above all else.
Christopher Papakaliatis is a Greek writer, actor and director. As an actor, he enjoyed popularity with several TV series. When he wrote, directed and acted in his feature debut What If (2012), he already had a built-in audience. He revitalized the Greek box office with record sales, a trend that continued with Worlds Apart.
An evocative score by Kostas Christides, excellent acting by an international cast including J.K. Simmons, and the competent directing of an emotionally charged story make for a film that successfully transcends the limits of its birthplace.