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Review: Tsatsiki, his father and the olive battle – Tsatsiki, farsan och olivkriget (2015)

Director: Lisa James Larsson | 91 minutes | | Actors: , , , , , , Liv Mjönes, , , ,

Moni Nilsson captured the hearts of Swedish children with her series around eight-year-old boy Tsatsiki, who dreams of meeting his unknown Greek father. With the adaptation of the books, Tsatsiki also went abroad. The first film, ‘Tsatsiki – Mama and the Policeman’ (1999), performed excellently throughout Europe and was awarded a Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, among other things. That film is a perfect example of everything that Swedish youth cinema is strong at. The nontraditional family situation – Tsatsiki’s mother became pregnant after a brief affair with his Greek father, who, however, has no knowledge of his existence for a long time, and then hooks up with the policeman Göran – is characteristic, as is the courage and ingenuity that the little boy shows to overcome hurdles. Mother is far from perfect, in addition to a chaotic love life, she also does not have her finances in order. Imperfections that make the characters real, human and tangible. In 2001 there was the second film ‘Tsatsiki – Friends Forever’, written and directed by Eddie Thomas Petersen (and no longer by Ella Lemhagen). It would then take no less than fourteen years before a new adventure film about the Greek-Swedish adventurer would appear. The director’s baton has since been taken over by Lisa James-Larsson and Moni Nilsson wrote the script herself. written and directed by Eddie Thomas Petersen (and no longer by Ella Lemhagen). It would then take no less than fourteen years before a new adventure film about the Greek-Swedish adventurer would appear. The director’s baton has since been taken over by Lisa James-Larsson and Moni Nilsson wrote the script herself. written and directed by Eddie Thomas Petersen (and no longer by Ella Lemhagen). It would then take no less than fourteen years before a new adventure film about the Greek-Swedish adventurer would appear. The director’s baton has since been taken over by Lisa James-Larsson and Moni Nilsson wrote the script herself.

In ‘Tsatsiki, his father and the olive war’ (2015) it finally happens; Tsatsiki (the title role has been taken over by Emrik Ekholm, as Samuel Haus is now much too old to play a boy of around ten) is finally going to meet his Greek father. The film was therefore largely shot on the Greek island of Crete, which gives it a summery look. His mother (Liv Mjönes) had a daughter with Göran (Johan Hallström) and is still pursuing a successful career in . During the holidays, Tsatsiki – whose name is actually Tobias but is so full of his Greek roots that his nickname has taken on a life of its own – goes to Greece with his best friend Per Hammar (Adam Gutniak). They dream of playing in the olive groves, which will one day belong to Tsatsiki. But once the time comes it all goes differently. Per has a skating accident and has to stay in the hospital. And in Greece a lot has changed in recent times. The financial crisis is having an impact on tourism. The hotel of Tsatsiki’s father Yanis (Jonatan Rodriguez) is emptying and money worries are piling up. In fact, it seems he has to sell his hotel and the olive grove to keep his head above water. And he had promised never to do that… Will Tsatsiki and his new girlfriend Alma (Sara Vilén) manage to set up a rescue operation? The hotel of Tsatsiki’s father Yanis (Jonatan Rodriguez) is emptying and money worries are piling up. In fact, it seems he has to sell his hotel and the olive grove to keep his head above water. And he had promised never to do that… Will Tsatsiki and his new girlfriend Alma (Sara Vilén) manage to set up a rescue operation? The hotel of Tsatsiki’s father Yanis (Jonatan Rodriguez) is emptying and money worries are piling up. In fact, it seems he has to sell his hotel and the olive grove to keep his head above water. And he had promised never to do that… Will Tsatsiki and his new girlfriend Alma (Sara Vilén) manage to set up a rescue operation?

The children’s story about Tsatsiki has been given a topical approach by moving the story to Greece, plagued by financial worries. It is amazing how screenwriter Nilsson and director James-Larsson manage to make something as complex as the economic crisis tangible and understandable for a young target group in a fairly simple way. In this way, children learn the value of money and what consequences money problems entail. But besides that message, ‘Tsatsiki, his father and the olive war’ offers a lot of adventure and entertainment. Tsatsiki is a nice kid, who will appeal to the imagination of many peers. A boy who is turned upside down when he wants to solve a problem, who wouldn’t want him as a friend? His new girlfriend Alma is a sparkling personality, just as inventive and engaging as Tsatsiki himself. Thanks to these charming characters, you forgive that the story unfolds quite predictably. And what does it actually matter; it is a film that is primarily aimed at children and for them it is nice when there is a happy ending and they work directly towards a solution. They will get their money’s worth with this fun Swedish youth film. ‘Tsatsiki, His Father and the Olive War’ may not be as strong as the first film, but significantly better than the second. it is a film that is primarily aimed at children and for them it is nice when there is a happy ending and they work directly towards a solution. They will get their money’s worth with this fun Swedish youth film. ‘Tsatsiki, His Father and the Olive War’ may not be as strong as the first film, but significantly better than the second. it is a film that is primarily aimed at children and for them it is nice when there is a happy ending and they work directly towards a solution. They will get their money’s worth with this fun Swedish youth film. ‘Tsatsiki, His Father and the Olive War’ may not be as strong as the first film, but significantly better than the second.

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