“Tailor” is the first movie by Sonia Liza Kenterman. It narrates the story of Nikos, a middle-aged tailor, working at his father’s tailor shop in Athens, trying to make ends meet in a difficult situation. His father is a tailor for men’s costumes, has taught his craft to his only son and they have been working together ever since. However times have changed, people don’t buy costumes anymore and his father has a hard time adjusting to the new reality. As a result, the debts of the business have reached a point of no return and the bank threatens with forfeiture.
Nikos is trying to talk his father into desire. We hear his first attempt at the beginning of the story, when he protests against the patrons of the deceased customers his father still keeps. However his voice is a soft one. The love for the father is dominant, even at his own cost. And he obeys out of sacrificial love.
He possesses a small characteristic however, his mark of subjectivity, that will lead the whole story. He notices the little things and tries to fix them. When making a costume, he pays attention to small details. When at the bank and although his father talks about depts in a way that remains fixated to his obsessive symptom, Nikos observes a small thread hanging from the banker’s sleeve and tries to fix it. An urge of desire.
We witness his romantic platonic relationship with a little neighbor girl and their inventive letter correspondence, that awakens him. A desire for life.
A sudden health problem of his father leaves Nikos the space he so much needed. Now alone at his empty store, where he also lives, his subjective solutions immediately emerge. He makes a little tablecloth for his dinner. Constructs a little wheel-wagon out of wood to get his fabrics outside of the store, in order to meet people and reunite with life. And he listens. A very strong transition towards desire is formatted, when a woman asks if he can make wedding dresses instead of costumes. He changes his position very quickly and fully acquires this totally different subjective position from then on. From the repetitive jouissance of the inherited symptom towards desire.
His love for the neighbor girl becomes embodied in a love affair with her mother and an obscure promise throughout the movie that he will sew her wedding dress when she gets older. Mother and daughter become his compass and an urge towards his own feminine jouissance, which unravels the thread of his desire.
As his thread is unwinding and he is learning more about sewing, he becomes some kind of magician and a loving figure for young girls who dream their wedding dresses: he tries to listen very carefully to each and every one of them, giving what he does not possess, a dream-dress based on listening. He thus becomes very popular among women. His business flourishes.
He pays off his father’s debt. He can now talk to his father when the latter exits the hospital and threatens him with humiliation. Another strong subjective transition is formulated here, as he finally manages to speak out instead of remaining silent.
The threat has retreated and made place for his very own unique thread, which continues to unravel as Nikos gets his first business car and carries on his journey, at the end of the story…