Greece-Germany 2007, 35mm, colour, 105', Dolby Digital
Based upon true events
Eduart, a young man raised in a cruel and oppressive family environment, leaves Albania with the dream of becoming a rock star and living a better life. His reckless character lead him to commit a murder in Athens.
Because of an old robbery he gets imprisoned in Albania under the harshest conditions. Eduart, assisting the German doctor of the prison, learns to feel sympathy for others and guilt for his crime.
Like the Dostoevskian hero Raskolnikov, Eduart passes from crime to punishment. Can Eduart be redeemed?
In international criminal history, the "Eduart case" occurs once in a hundred years.
- Written and directed by:
- Angeliki Antoniou
- Script Editors:
- Jan Fleischer, Lewis Cole
- Script Collaborators:
- Srdjan Koljevic, Kriton Kalaitzidis
- Costas Lambropoulos, Jost Hering, Angeliki Antoniou
- CL Productions (Athens), and Jost Hering Filme (Berlin)
- Greek Film Centre, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Le Spot, Nova, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, ODEON, Angeliki Antoniou
- Direction of Photography:
- Jürgen Jürges
- Art direction:
- Ioulia Stavridou
- Kostas Christides, Minos Matsas
- Takis Yannopoulos
- Nikos Papadimitriou
- Make-up artist:
- Fani Alexaki
- Eshref Durmishi (Eduart), André Hennicke (Dr. Erdmann), Ndricim Xhepa (Raman), Dancho Chevreski (lawyer), Ermela Teli (Natasha), Adrian Aziri (Elton), Gazmend Gjokaj (Petro), Manos Vakousis (Harissis), Edi Mehana (Ali), Dimitris Liolios (Greek police officer), Nikolas Labrou (chief guard in prison), Armando Dauti (Ilyr), Luilzim Zegja (Beznik)
- ODEON (Release Date: March 8th, 2007)
- Palace Enterprises (Released in November 2007)
- Κosovo, Albania:
- Concordia Pictures
- Selected by the European Film Academy for the 2007 European Film Awards
- Greece's submission for an Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Film 2008
- 29th Montpellier International Mediterranean Film Festival, 2007:
- Golden Antigone (Antigone d'or de la Ville et de l'Agglomération de Montpellier)
- Special mention by the Young People's Award (CMCAS)
- 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, State Awards, 2006:
- Best Film
- Best Director (Angeliki Antoniou)
- Best Screenplay (Angeliki Antoniou)
- Best Set Design (Ioulia Stavridou)
- Best Music (Kostas Christides and Minos Matsas)
- Best Sound (Nikos Papadimitriou)
- Best Editing (Takis Yannopoulos)
- Best Costumes (Ioulia Stavridou)
- Best Make-up (Fani Alexaki)
- 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2006:
- FIPRESCI Award (Federation of International Film Critics)
- The Greek Union of Film Television and Audiovisual Technicians (ETEKT) Award
- Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, 2008 (Competition):
- Orpheus Award for Best Feature
- Orpheus Award for Best Direction
- The Method Fest Film Festival, Calabasas, California, 2008 (Competition):
- Special Recognition by the Prudential California Realty Award for Best Ensemble Cast
- WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, 2008 (Competition):
- Silver Remi Award
- London Greek Film Festival, 2008 (Competition):
- Best Fiction Feature Film
- Moscow International Film Festival, 2007 (Main Competition)
- World Film Festival of Montreal, 2007
- International Film Festival, Copenhagen, 2007
- Hof International Film Festival, 2007
- International Film Festival, Cottbus, 2007
- Sao Paolo International Film Festival, 2007
- Sevilla International Film Festival, 2007 (Competitive Section, Europe-Europe)
- Mostra de Valencia, 2007 (Competition)
- MedFilm Festival, Rome, 2007 (Competition)
- Greek Film Festival "Antipodes", Australia, 2007
- Tirana International Film Festival, 2007 (Special event)
- Cuenca International Film Festival, 2007
- Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, 2007 (International Competition EurAsia)
- Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2008
- Ιnternational Film Festival Tromso, 2008 (Competition)
- Goeteborg International Film Festival, 2008
- Cleveland International Film Festival, 2008
- Portland International Film Festival, 2008
- Selected for "Picture Europe! The Best of European Cinema" in Munich, 2008
- FEBIOFEST 2008, Prague International Film Festival, 2008
- Verzaubert Ιnternational Queer Film Festival, Germany, 2008
- German-Turkish Film Festival, Nuernberg 2008
- Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival, 2008 (Competition)
- Selected for "Picture Europe! The Best of European cinema" in Madrid, 2008
- Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival, 2008
- Neisse Film Festival, 2008 (Competition)
- Napoli Film Festival, 2008 (Competition)
- Βucharest International Film Festival, 2008
- Cinematheque de Toulouse (L'Europe dans tous ses états), 2008
- Festival "Les Rendez-vous de l' histoire" in Blois, France, 2008
- New York Greek Film Festival, 2008
- Festival Cinéma Méditerranéen de Bruxelles, 2008
- Trieste Film Festival, 2009
THE GUARDIAN (UK)
This extremely powerful and moving film is not in any way as worthy or sentimental as it sounds; nor, like its Dostoevskian hero, does it take the easy path to final redemption. It also manages to avoid most of the clichés of the brutal prison genre: instead of the documentary realism that is usual with these subjects, it is beautifully shot and framed with a discreet use of music. The film owes a tremendous amount to the central performance by Durmishi, an Albanian actor whose handsome, torture features dominate almost every scene. Both he and the film could go on to achieve international success.
HERALD TRIBUNE / KATHIMERINI - Greece's Leading Newspaper, English Edition
Film Director Angeliki Antoniou created savagely beautiful and heartbreaking images. Her hero passes from crime to punishment, crying out his guilt, as in a Dostoevsky novel. It is one of the exceptional films at Thessaloniki's grand festival this year.
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS (Greece)
A very forceful film, with dense content, clear logic, cinematic ability and inner tension. Apart from the power of the scenes and the way she handles the negative hero, an Albanian murderer, the manner in which she leads him to catharsis is devastating.
In Eduart there are two key characteristics that we rarely see in Greek films: on the one hand there is a harsh sense of realism that rejects any beautification both visual and as regards the subject and, on the other there is a flawless pace in the tension and in every breath which keep the interest unrelenting.
A film that equals the best European films.
CITY PRESS (Greece)
The film dynamites intolerance and racism, it carries the day with its multi-leveled truth and power and touches the most sensitive side of the audience.
The best film of the Greek production. It was made with boldness and bravery.
Angeliki Antoniou sweeps us along with her Dostoevskian hero on his journey to personal redemption. Her images are full of action, energy, honesty.
The ideas of Dostoevsky are on the base of the Greek film "Eduart" (director Angeliki Antoniou). The film is hard -the most time the hero is situated in the prison- but humanistic pathos is evident - only openhearted confession can soften the killer's suffering.
The film is an excellent social document, partly dedicated to living in prison. From this point of view, it has some points in common with other works that dealt with the same subject. But the second part has an original expiatory-mystic cut. The best merit is the building up of the story: the director shows a great ability to keep the dramatic side of the events down and create passages whose development and conclusions are already clear, engrossing.
Pic nicely captures the hopelessness of life in late 90s Albania and, as Eduart, relative newcomer Durmishi does a fine job conveying the surprise of a young man discovering he still has sensitive areas in his soul.
In one of the best screenplays in recent years, Angeliki Antoniou questions in detail the chronicle of the conflict between the personal reason and the social result. One well-made film which tells spherically a very interesting story and succeeds to focus on the experience of a contemporary immigrant in Greece but also on the way we are reflected in the eyes of a very closed neighbor, yet foreigner.
TRIBUNA (Greece, Albanian Edition)
One film that you must not miss.
FIPRESCI Moscow 2007 (Russia)
The difficult interrelation of "old" and "new" Europe were also illustrated in Angeliki Antoniou's virtuous Greek film Eduart, with the more prosperous nation proving unwilling to incorporate a young ambitious Albanian, also looking for his happiness across the border, into its environment.
When I was watching the film I forgot that I was a film critic. It was interesting to follow developments, disclosing of the character and how the director was leading us to its very interesting finale. It was so unusual, fresh and joyful in a contemporary film context. As it is perceived in "Eduart", when dignity was a rule in the good old days for every film.
World Film Festival of Montreal 2007 (Canada)
This magnificent film is a treasure of emotions.
World Film Festival of Montreal 2007 (Canada)
Through a remarkably effective sound that works as a "weave" that contributes to realism and through a narration that uses flash backs, the director evolves the story to an ending that permits an absolute and spiritual revelation. Antoniou is interested in human beings and proves that it can evolve with all its advantages and disadvantages.
Midi Libre (France)
C'est un regard de femme très particulier sur le monde carcéral.
Australian Film Critics Association (Australia)
A compelling variation of "Crime And Punishment", this is an impressive, gloomy drama by Angeliki Antoniou about an Albanian man’s search for meaning in his life, but encountering many blockages along the way. Recommended!
2007-8 Academy Foreign Film Competition & AFI Festival Journal (USA)
This is a very involving and impressively acted and directed film, based on a true story, mostly about third world prison life. Eshref Durmishi is quite good playing an unsympathetic anti-hero. This film should be a contender; but I suspect it is too bleak for this crowd. Rating: *** 1/4 (maximum rating is ****)
Cinematographer Jürgen Jürges brings an antiquated subtlety to the film that perfectly matches Antoniou's thematic thrust and the whole, despite its disturbing setting and content, is riveting.
[...] rather than as a simple redemption drama, however, the true interest of Eduart lies in the way it offers an Albanian immigrant's point of view as presented through Greek eyes, with the Stockholm syndrome and Freudian and ancient Greek definitions of domination, exploitation and foreignness playing out in the background.
Boyd van Hoeij
ODYSSEY (Los Angeles Greek Film Festival)
Women directors stepped prominently into the spotlight: major talents including Angeliki Antoniou, writer and director of the powerful drama Eduart.
Chroniques Rebelles / Divergences Nr.12
Antigone d'or 2007 du Festival international du cinéma méditerranéen de Montpellier, Eduart est indéniablement l'œuvre d'une grande réalisatrice et d'une femme de convictions.
In January 2002 I came across an extensive newspaper article.
"A young Albanian murderer crosses the Greek-Albanian border and surrenders himself to the Greek Police." I could not begin to fathom this piece of news. A killer gives himself up to the Greek police...
Over the next few days I was haunted by this extraordinary fact. I couldn't find a moment's rest.
I asked criminal lawyers and district attorneys what could be hiding behind his voluntary confession. Almost everybody I asked told me that something of this sort is unique and has rarely taken place in the history of criminology: a young man who has committed murder gives himself up even though nobody is hunting him down. Such an incident could occur once every fifty years or perhaps once in a century.
I found out that Eduart was imprisoned in Athens. After four months I managed to get hold of a permission to visit him by the ministry of Justice.
When the moment of our meeting arrived, the idea of my coming face to face with a murderer made me recoil with a shudder. I was reserved, cautious, and incredulous. I used up my entire energy in the course of the interview trying to hide my negative feelings.
After many interviews in jail, some of my reservations and fears were dispelled. After six months I visited Albania for the first time, saw the place Eduart grew up and managed to talk with his sister and other people who knew him. I wanted to make sure that Eduart's change of heart was genuine. I checked and double checked facts, interviews and carried out an investigation that bordered on reportage.
After a year my opinion changed. There was not a monster standing in front of me but a young man who was fully aware of the seriousness and the guilt of his action.
In the course of our last meeting he reassured me that I can write whatever I want about him in the script. "I was a wicked man".
He never asked for money for the revelatory interviews he gave me, he does not think he is somewhat special because of his deed and neither does he feel that something special will happen in the event of turning his life into a film.
At the same time, the entire process made me realize that people do change. And this does not concern exclusively Eduart but in an uncanny way it has affected me as well.
I had to overcome my prejudices in order to approach him and to understand him. I no longer feel fear, pity or sorrow for Eduart. I just respect him for his personal transformation. I respect him for his CATHARSIS.
Today, where thousands of people get murdered and killed under the responsibility of politicians and governments and where nobody seems to feel any kind of guilt, the solitary cry of Eduart, claiming his guilt, obtains an utmost ecumenical significance.