From The Edge of the City

Cerisaye's Review

Maybe if I hadnít seen Mandragora Iíd have thought more of this movie about street kids living in a Russian-Greek neighbourhood overlooking Athens. An interviewer off-camera puts questions, and fit young hustlers hang about and discuss their lives, tricks, drug use, etc.

The film doesn't seem to have much to do with a gay theme. Or it's so buried you have to dig it out. The camera lingers on beautiful boy, Sasha, whose story is its centre.† And other partly clothed male bodies, so itís homoerotic.† While the narrative expresses homophobic comments, including a horrific description of what happens to gay men in Russia.†

The story, in Russian/Greek with English subtitles, is disjointed and difficult to follow.† The boys turn tricks with men for drug money, and use female Russian whores for pleasure, vehemently denying theyíre gay.† Greek society doesnít tolerate homosexuality.† The one character who says heís in love with his older client falls from his balcony, after he rejects him for a fresher body.†

I waited for Sasha and his hunky pimp to get it together.† Thereís a gym scene that looked promising, but nothing developed.† Instead Sasha tries to rescue the Russian prostitute heís guarding while the pimp arranges her sale to another man.

Primarily concerned with ethnic Greek groups from Kazakhstan returned to their homeland on the collapse of the USSR (gleaned from extras), and confused youth, Sasha, whose traditionalist father resents his slacker lifestyle, the movie is a muddled mess.† The boysí lives donít seem all that bad, compared with hustlers in Prague featured in Mandragora.† Go watch that film instead.