Director: Babis Makridis
Screenwriters: Efthimis Filippou, Babis Makridis

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


A man is distraught, sorrowful. With his wife lying in a coma, each day begins in tears. But despite this sadness, he is happy. Showered with pity—from his secretary, his dry cleaner, and a neighbor who brings homemade Bundt cakes—the man realizes how much better his life is. He’s grown accustomed to pity—addicted even. What a vexing dilemma he’d face were his wife ever to recover.

A pitch-dark comedy that would be deeply disturbing if it weren’t so funny, Pity marks the second collaboration of director Babis Makridis (L) and co-writer Efthimis Filippou (Dogtooth, The Lobster). Its heavily stylized humor and restrained aesthetic enable a revelatory deadpan performance from comedian Yannis Drakopoulos, his nameless Everyman narcissistically obsessing over the depths of his sorrow (shouldn’t his son play less cheerful piano melodies?) and how it compares to others’ (is it deeper than the woman wailing in the hospital waiting room?). Pity meets these questions with a wry smirk, and an intertitle helpfully reminds us, “It’s your own fault if people stop pitying you.”

— J.N.

Screening Details

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