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June 5, 2014

Movie Review: To Stigma (1982)

A nurse talks about kids that are born monsters. Eleni [Olia Lazariodu] and Petros [Antonis Kafetzopoulos] just gave birth to one. Later we learn that it is a mongoloid. The lead couple will get advice from a variety of people, most importantly a lawyer who tells them that the clinic can’t legally kill the unwanted baby. So, they decided to do it themselves after the suggestion of a nurse and the phony death certificate a doctor agreed to give to them.

This is a nightmarish drama, kinda like a Rosemary’s Baby (1968) but without Satan involved. It is a disappointment though that we never see the baby, not even in the end. Also, the whole thing takes place mostly in the hospital and the couple’s apartment and some very few other interior locations. What’s great about it though is that the majority of shots are actors’ point of view, something that makes the viewing experience somewhat unique.

Writer/Director Pavlos Tasios is well known and respected in Greece, but I can’t rank this among his best films. Those would be Parangelia! (1980), Knock Out (1986) and To Vary... Peponi (1977). Those three were released together in a huge VHS box-set more than a decade ago. Since I’m not much of a fan of Greek films I gave away my copy to a fellow collector.

Female lead Olia Lazariodu was in my personal favourite Ta Kourelia Tragoudane Akoma... (1979). Male lead Antonis Kafetzopoulos is still a big star in Greece but you may know him as the lead zombie from O Drakoulas ton Exarheion (1983).

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