Dyskoloi apohairetismoi: O babas mou (Hard Goodbyes: My Father)
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Dyskoloi apohairetismoi: O babas mou (Hard Goodbyes: My Father)
Penny Panayotopoulou's debut feature, Dhiskoli Apoheretismi: O Babas Mou (Hard Goodbyes: My Father), is a drama about an Athenian family coping with a death. In May 1969, ten-year old Elias (Giorgos Karayannis) is obsessed with the possibility of man landing on the moon and dreams up outrageous fantasy lives. When his father dies unexpectedly, he creates an elaborate fantasy that allows the father to stay alive in the boy's mind. His older brother and his mother have their own techniques for dealing with the tragedy. Hard Goodbyes: My Father was screened at the Locarno Film Festival,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A tender and moving drama that deserves wider exposure."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Considering the delicate and weighty subject matter, the film's tone is surprisingly light, sometimes even humorous, which helps to balance the harsh sentiments that death inevitably brings."
‑ Laura Kern, New York Times
"Goes from being appropriately child-like to simply childish."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"Begins to take on an allegorical, global feel."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"...has about it the whiff of autobiography, given the specificity of the details and the odd, enchanting drift from an initial tone of social realism toward fantasy."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Hard Goodbyes could easily have been maudlin, but isn't. Credit an adult script and realistic acting, especially by Giorgos Karayannis as Elias."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"A tender Greek drama documenting a child's disbelief in the face of his father's death."
‑ R. Emmet Sweeney, Village Voice
"Panayotopoulou's story has the ring of autobiographical truth, getting the details of the period and of childhood in general right at every turn."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Greek director-writer Penny Panayotopoulou's compelling debut feature is a psychological drama about an Athenian family dealing with grief."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"With soft heartedness and beautiful imagery, the film aptly captures the feeling of disbelief and aversion that hits children in a time of loss."
‑ Mark Sells, Film Threat
"Panayotopoulou does handle the material with sensitivity, but she relies too much on her young hero's unlikely precocity, which unwittingly diminishes the intensity of a child's very real grief."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"About nothing so much as a soulful kid's first encounter with the most literal and poetic meanings of the word 'gone.'"
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"A sublimely subjective journey from denial to acceptance as a 10-year-old boy comes to terms with the finality of death."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Not perfect, exciting, fresh, but well crafted, well acted, and very well directed"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Youngster Giorgos Karayannis is a marvel in this touching Greek drama about a son's devotion to his father."
‑ Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews