“Apples,” the directorial debut of Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou, will represent Greece in the “Best International Feature Film” category at the Oscars in 2021.
Nikou is known internationally for his work as assistant director on critically acclaimed films like “Dogtooth” and “Before Midnight.”
His film “Apples,” called “an unforgettable, prescient cinematic experience” by actress Cate Blanchett, who believed in the work so fervently that she decided to fund it as a co-executive producer, opened at the Horizons section of the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
Exploring themes of memory, loss, and human connection, the film follows the life of a man who falls victim to a new pandemic that causes amnesia.
While in experimental treatment for the illness, which involves creating new memories and experiences, he meets a woman who is also suffering from amnesia.
Although the film is particularly topical in the midst of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Nikou has amazingly been holding onto to the concept for “Apples” for nearly a decade.
The death of his father pushed the filmmaker to examine the workings of human memory and how they relate to experience and relationships, the film’s central themes, as he himself tried to suppress difficult memories from that period of his life.
Critics note that the way in which the film is shot resembles old Polaroid pictures, referencing a time when precious memories were documented on physical film, giving them more weight than today, when cameras are easily accessible through cell phones and nearly everything is documented on social media.
The film has received attention from critics and cinephiles around the world, who have placed it in the movement called “Greek Weird Wave.” These films include absurdist dialogues and often solitary, isolated protagonists who navigate through real-world circumstances that seem to be slightly “off.”