60-year-old Maria, a veteran cleaner on the Blue Star ferry, discovers a shocking secret: there is an appraiser on board ship, evaluating the ferry for potential sale to Canada. This is desperate news for Maria. She is still two years from pension, jobs are scarce with the Greek financial crisis, and her daughters, Maraki and Vicki, also work as cleaners on the ferry. It takes all three Blue Star paychecks to share their cheap, claustrophobic rental in Athens. Maria leads the staff in sabotaging the ship to devalue it in the eyes of the Canadian sale appraiser, Chris. She clashes with newly pregnant Maraki, who longs for Pericles, her deadbeat ex-lover, and also with Vicki, who suddenly finds Maria’s arch-enemy, Chris, irresistible. Maria herself gets bit by the love bug when supervisor Alekos uncovers her secret campaign to stop the sale. But Maria will do anything – even try some killing and kidnapping – to keep her ferry in Greece and her daughters safe with her.
This film was inspired by a small farewell ceremony I saw in 2014, for a Greek island ferry sold to Canada. The bit of fanfare and celebration for a ship leaving Greece during the crisis was bittersweet, and stuck with me. Farewells remind me of my mother, as this one did; of her complex, anxious goodbyes I would dread and try to avoid. I laugh when I recognise now, as a new mom, I have inherited that same anxiety to part. "Blue Star" is the story of a mother’s separation anxiety pitted against the Greek crisis. Her determination to cling to her two daughters and her boat, to control the uncontrollable at all cost, is both heartbreaking and hilarious to me. On a political level, the family in crisis reflects the socioeconomic state of Greece, while the Blue Star’s sale is a metaphor for the economic crisis; the cause for many difficult goodbyes. The tone mixes screwball comedy and social drama to interweave the personal and the political in a light- hearted yet socially realistic way.
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