The Very Poor, Inc

(Dirt Poor Inc, Antonis Kokkinos, Greece, 2000)


Antonis Kokkinos' The Very Poor, Inc, is a gem of a film that deserves to be far more widely known outside its home country.

With a sharp eye for the chaos of life in Athens, Kokkinos spins a fanciful tale from a garbage strike.

The corporation normally in charge of removing and processing trash finds itself competing against a small business venture that happily hires every kind of marginalised citizen: the homeless, Albanian immigrants, teenagers.

The film has a wonderful, escalating comic logic and a superb grasp of character. For once, the much-discussed "Greek script problem" (as an Athens newspaper movie critic put it) is triumphantly overcome.

Wry observations about Greek society, balancing critique with affection, enliven every scene – such as the immortal, throwaway line: "Who invests in the future in this country?"

MORE Greek cinema: Landscape in the Mist, A Touch of Spice, A Song is Not Enough

© Adrian Martin August 2001

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search