I Watched Epiphany (2019, dir. by Koula Sossiadis Kazista and Katina Sossiadis)

Luka (Caitlin Carmichael) is a teenage girl who lives in Florida with her Uncle Peter (George Georgiou) and her father, Theo (Alex Dimitriades).  Theo has only recently reentered Luka’s life and Luka was raised by Peter and his wife, who has recently died of breast cancer.  Peter and Theo both make a living diving for sea sponges but business is slow, Theo is drinking too much and still having nightmares about the things that he saw when he was growing up, and Peter is hooked on painkillers.  Both Peter and Theo came to America from Cyprus but neither tells Luka much about her family’s past or why there is still so much bad blood between the two brothers.

After Luka is caught stealing for a church collection plate, she’s sentenced to do community service.  Working at a retirement community, she meets an old Greek man (Burt Young) who also doesn’t like to talk about his past.  Even though he’s grumpy and everyone else is scared of him, Luka bonds with him and discovers that they have something in common.  Meanwhile, Theo tries to come to terms with the past with the help of his new girlfriend, Cari (Scottie Thompson).

The plot of Epiphany meanders from one incident to another and, at first, I wondered if it was all going to lead anywhere.  But eventually it does, especially as Luka learns more about her Cypriot heritage and the tragedy that neither her father nor her uncle can recover from.  Some of it, like the identity of the old man, was a little predictable but, overall, I enjoyed Epiphany.  Caitlyn Carmichael is great as Luka and it was impossible for me not to relate to her and her coming-of-age story.  It’s a sweet movie with a good message about redemption and forgiveness.  I liked it.

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