Atlas, All the Weight in the World

Katrina Wilber

IDir. Thanos Anastopoulos

If Atlas thought he had a tough time holding up the world, he should have tried holding an entire country’s Olympic dreams on his shoulders instead.

First-time director Thanos Anastopoulos’ film “Atlas, All the Weight in the World” tells the stories of people whose lives become entwined through an Olympic weightlifter named Heraklis.

A gay coroner is a friend of a disillusioned philosopher, whose attractive Polish housekeeper continually tries to talk to her husband, who’s still in Poland, on the phone. A young widow, a truck driver, and an impotent businessman with a wife who’s only got sex on her mind complete the main cast.

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but the complex plot line leaves little room for laughter.

The film is shot almost entirely in Greek, but not every scene has subtitles leaving some room for audience confusion. Just listening to the tone of the voice weaves a general idea of the conversation, but then the viewer is left to his or her own devices to make sense of the remaining details.

One botched lift leaves Heraklis with an enormous amount of pressure. The whole country is at a standstill as the announcer whispers, “The hearts of all Greeks are beating as hard as Heraklis’. The eyes of Greece are upon him.” The 215 kilos he must lift could send him to the top of Mount Olympus or down to the torturous depths of Hades.

Now that’s a lot of pressure.