By Luciana Leitão

It’s a punch in the stomach, done with a very tight fist, very intensely and slowly, to hurt even more. Miss Violence, directed by Alexandros Navras, shows a particular angle on domestic violence, based on the daily life of an apparently — only if you’re not paying close attention — happy family.

The story starts with a normal family scenery, cultivated by the father, played by the fantastic actor Themis Panou. It is Angeliki’s 11th birthday celebration and there’s a well-organised party in her honour. There’s music, cake and a loving family set, followed by an act of despair, showing something underneath the surface.

As we move further into the film, the secrets get revealed, showing appalling lies and a hideous and continuous abuse. The father has all the women in the house under a sexual and psychological abuse regime,maintaining at the same time an image of happiness.

It reveals a very deep and intimate perspective on domestic violence, from the portrait of a Greek family.  The dialogues, the images, the fake smiles, the superficial conversations all tend to reveal something bigger and more terrifying, giving you the real feel on fear.

The actors — from the youngest to the oldest — are amazing. The director is very realistic in his approach, focusing on the daily life of an apparently normal family, on the daily events every normal family goes through.

Miss Violence is a brutal story of domestic violence, showing the deep inner secrets, lying underneath the sometimes-existent darkness of the human soul. Everyone must watch this — to understand and to take the pulse on the real dimension of the terror behind domestic violence.