Unapologetically quirky, I Am From Titov Veles proposes a believable story against an interesting backdrop, but ultimately it leaves a lot to be desired. The sisters are rather half-baked as characters (besides fulfilling the ‘virgin, mother, whore’ dynamic of feminist film theory), and Afrodita in particular is a grating presence. Her unexplained muteness seems like little more than a whim of the director, whose painterly sensibilities get cloying very quickly. Additionally, the audience is presented with mixed messages about female sexuality and it’s hard to understand what one should take away from it. The film does have its virtues, however – the cinematography is gently hypnotic, using flourishes of colour and texture to bring scenes to life.
Friday, 16 April 2010
Afrodita, a short-haired mute girl, lives with her two sisters in the Macedonian city of Veles. Lost in her own world, Afrodita dances her way through life in a haze of childlike merriment, unhindered by the city’s toxic landscape. What does hold her back however is her perceived inferiority amongst her siblings, specifically her comparative asexuality. While sisters Slavica and Sapho are able to employ their feminine wiles to get the men they desire, Afrodita remains a virgin at the age of twenty-seven. Perhaps this is due in no small part to her naïveté regarding the mechanics of sex – after all, she daydreams about giving birth to countless babies from her mouth. In desperation, she propositions Aco, a man pursuing Sapho, but the experience proves to be a stark difference from her romantic idyll.