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1 Votes (2)
Joy (2012)
Χαρά (original title)
Hara (title with latin characters)
Fiction, 80 min
Production country   Greece
Language   Greek
Director   Elias Giannakakis
Scriptwriter   Elias Giannakakis
Producer   Elias Giannakakis
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Hara (a greek name meaning Joy),aged 45-47, snatches a baby from a maternity clinic and walks away unnoticed.
When the police mobilize to trace her,she does not attempt to hide or escape; she doesn't even seem to pay attention to radio and television programs flooded with news of the kidnapping.
Hara spends two days with the baby, whom she appears to cherish like her own. Her happiness is evident. When the two go on a day-trip, they cross paths with a felon. He realizes who Hara is and ambushes her to steal the infant and sell it. They engage in ferocious struggle, during which Hara kills the man.
After her arrest and regardless an impending life sentence, she refuses to speak. She wouldn't even speak to the lawyer the court has appointed to defend her. And when the hearing begins, she remains silent during proceedings. It is only in the solitude of her cell that Hara feels free to open up and speak. She “talks” to the baby,she makes humorous comments about the trial and she sings.
Director's Note
As the film opens we watch the heroine, Hara (Joy), heading towards a most deviant behaviour. She snatches a newborn baby from a maternity clinic.
It is an intrinsic act of hubris against the ideal of motherhood, which is a "sensitive" notion across all societies.
Subconsciously, intuitively and almost dreamily, Hara decides that she is entitled to have a baby of her own, even if it is really someone else΄s child. She seems unaware of the harm this causes to the baby΄s real mother; or perhaps she simply doesn΄t care. She is overcome by desire for love. In her eyes there is no mother for this baby other than herself.
The two days she spends with the baby yield such emotional charge, enough to last a lifetime.
When she crosses paths with a criminal who attempts to steal and hurt the baby, she slays him brutally without thinking twice.
This act of rescuing the baby, rightfully earns her a share in motherhood. She has given to the child the present of life, just like a birth mother does.
When, she finally gets arrested, she shows no interest in defending herself.
Besides the abduction of the baby, she is accused of murdering a man (allegedly her accessory) and for having planned the kidnapping with the aforementioned victim.
It is only the audience who knows that nothing of all this, is true.
On one side, there stands a society that fully supports the birth mother. The participants in the trial, police, judges and jurors, have condemned her from the very beginning.
On the other side stands Hara. Alone. Unwilling to take part in the procedures; rejecting anyone΄s authority to judge her feelings, her relationship with the baby, her right to love, to give and receive joy.
In between, three characters. Hara΄s mother, who tries in vain to explain the behaviour of her daughter.
A man she met on her trip; a walker, fulfilling a sacred vow in gratitude for his child΄s rescue at birth. He seems to understand her, probably because they are kindred spirits.However, in the eyes of the court the man appears almost as bizarre as she is.
Her lawyer, indifferent at first, in the end he advocates her innocence. But mainly he makes an effort to understand her. He may even have fallen in love with her.
Yet, Hara is on a wavelength of her own. This is not due to a mental disorder, as diagnosed by a psychiatrist. It is something the audience already knows, after having seen her in her cell. making childlike, humorous remarks about the hearing, even though she refuses to take part in it.
A whole world, hitherto unfamiliar to us, is revealed in the character of Hara.
She manages to shake our persuasions, as she assumes an almost rebellious stance, acting solely on instinct. She doesn΄t mind getting a life sentence. She doesn΄t care if she loses everything. The emotions she experienced during her short time with the baby have made her life worth living, even if she has to spend the rest of it locked in a prison cell.
It is her adamant conviction, her absolute devotion to those feelings, that make her such an intricate but extraordinary personality.
Technical Specifications Image / Sound
Color / Black & White   Black & White
Sound format   Dolby Digital
Production format   35mm
Distribution format   35mm
Production country
» The 20th DelphiBank Greek Film Festival in Australia, 31 October - 14 December 2013
» Cinema City International Film Festival 2013
» The 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2013 Selection
» Hellenic Film Academy Awards 2013
» Nominations of the Hellenic Film Academy Awards 2013
» Hellenic Television Supports Greek Cinema
» Greek films at Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Films of Elias Giannakakis
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