Greece, Poland, Slovenia, 2020, 90′, feature film
A contemporary and at the same time placed out of time story that takes us to Athens, where there is an epidemic of amnesia. The main character, Aris, is number 14842 in a hospital ward for people with memory disorders. One day he left home, got on a bus, and at the terminus, he no longer knew who he was, where he lived, what he had experienced. People like him are given a chance – they can create a new identity and new memories for themselves. Screened at the Venice Film Festival, Apples combines the absurd humour of Yorgos Lanthimos’s films (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite) with the melancholy of Charlie Kaufman’s works (Being Like John Malkovich, Anomalisa), and somewhere in the background echoes a voice from Orwell’s Big Brother.
How selective is our memory? Although not a comedy, several surrealistically comic scenes break down this otherwise very depressing approach to the subject of the nature of humanity. Do we remember what we have experienced, or only what we choose to remember? Are we able to forget injustices? Is it possible that deep down, we do not want to forget painful experiences because, without them, we lose our existence? And finally, are we simply the sum of all those things we do not forget?