Caring for an ailing loved one means carrying the burden of their deteriorating health, supporting them both mentally and physically as they become unable to do so themselves. It’s a task which can be overwhelming at the best of times, even for adults; yet in Jacqueline Lentzou’s Moon, 66 Questions, the obligation falls to a teenaged protagonist.

Artemis (Sofia Kokkali) is called to her father’s bedside; Paris (Lazaros Georgakopoulos), recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has been a largely absent figure in his daughter’s life, and is either incapable or unwilling to communicate with her, even now. While the illness robs him of his agency, Artemis is left to her own devices, faced with decisions she is far too young for. The camera is often trained on her face in close ups, underlining her solitude while revealing the warring emotions inside. There are other family members, but they appear and disappear like distant planets, orbiting around the central pair.

Both astronomy and astrology are a recurring theme in Lentzou’s film, reflected not only in its title, but in frequent images of the sky, as well as tarot cards which serve as chapter headings. Voice-over sequences paired with a distinct home video aesthetic break up the oppressive atmosphere of Artemis’ seclusion at her father’s house, achieving a filmic approximation of a scrapbook diary a teenage girl might keep. Throughout the film, the audience is never allowed to forget just how young Artemis is: when she is on her own she dances, drives her father’s car against the garage wall, and lights a first cigarette with shaky hands.

Delicate and empathetic, Moon, 66 Questions is an impressive debut feature. Part coming-of-age, part illness narrative, the film is above all an intimate portrait of Artemis as she is forced to reevaluate her relationship with her father.  

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Sofia Kokkali, Lazaros Georgakopoulos

DIRECTOR: Jacqueline Lentzou

WRITER: Jacqueline Lentzou

SYNOPSIS: After years of distance, Artemis has to get back to Athens due to her father’s frail state of health. Discovering her father’s well-kept secret allows Artemis to understand her father, in a way she was not able before, therefore love him truly for the first time.

[TRAILER FORTHCOMING]