Berlinale: Programme

Film File


To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón

The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea

Maria Drandaki (Producer), Argyris Xafis (Actor), Christos Passalis (Actor), Youla Boudali (Actress, Screenwriter), Angeliki Papoulia (Actress), Syllas Tzoumerkas (Director, Screenwriter)

Moderation: Margarita Tsomou

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Elisabeth is police chief of the Greek coastal town of Mesolongi. When she speaks, it sounds like angry barking. She drinks too much, constantly swears and is sleeping with a married doctor. Her transfer from Athens to this small fishing village ten years ago still rankles with her. Her adolescent son Dimitris is all too familiar with his mother’s moods. If she overdoes it after a shared dinner in a bar, he goes home. Rita comes from Mesolongi and works in a factory; her brother is something of a local celebrity. He sometimes makes her join him on stage during his club appearances. Rita is also deeply dissatisfied. But then a death tears apart the already fragile network of relationships between the villagers, revealing an even more damaged structure beneath.
Syllas Tzoumerkas’s third film portrays an extraordinary policewoman in the shape of Elisabeth. His protagonist is bulky, frustrated and ungracious. Angeliki Papoulia’s brilliant performance and the surprisingly shocking plot of To Thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón (The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea) means we are served up a small-town nightmare garnished with eels and several layers of interpretation.

Syllas Tzoumerkas

Greece / Germany / Netherlands / Sweden 2019


121’ · Colour

World premiere


Angeliki Papoulia (Elisabeth)
Youla Boudali (Rita)
Christos Passalis (Manolis)
Argyris Xafis (Vassilis)
Thanasis Dovris (Michalis)
Laertis Malkotsis (Andreas)
Maria Filini (Axel)
Michalis Kimonas (Vangelis)
Christian Culbida (Dimitris)
Michalis Mathioudakis (Mitsos)


Syllas Tzoumerkas
Youla Boudali, Syllas Tzoumerkas
Petrus Sjövik
Andreas Wodraschke
Jean-Paul Wall, drog_A_tek, Phoebus
Sound Design
Marco Vermaas
Felix Siewert
Production Design
Jorien Sont
Marli Aliferi
Linda Boije af Gennäs, Evi Zafiropoulou
Maria Drandaki
Executive Producer
Syllas Tzoumerkas
Associate Producer
Meinolf Zurhorst
Titus Kreyenberg, Ellen Havenith, Olle Wirenhed, Anthony Muir
unafilm, Köln
PRPL, Amsterdam
Kakadua Filmproduktion, Göteborg
Film I Väst, Trollhättan
ZDF/Arte, Mainz
ERT, Athen


Syllas Tzoumerkas

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1978, he writes, directs and acts for both film and theatre. His debut feature film Homeland premiered in the Critics’ Week at Venice and went on to screen at international festivals. His second feature A Blast premiered at Locarno and was selected for over 80 festivals around the world. He is co-writer of the script for Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ 2016 film Suntan and of Ahmad Ghossein’s 2019 film All This Victory. In 2019, his own film The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea screened in Panorama.


2001 Ta Mátia pou Tróne (The Devouring Eyes); short film 2002 Vrohí (Rain); short film 2010 Hóra Proélefsis (Homeland) 2014 A Blast 2017 A Manifesto for the Un-Communal; short film 2022 I Poli ke i Poli (The City and the City); co-director: Christos Passalis

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022

Produced by

Homemade Films

World Sales

New Europe Film Sales