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Balkanisateur (1997)

Valkanizater (original title)
Two friends from a small Greek town travel to Bulgaria and Switzerland, hoping they can gain money from the difference in foreign exchange rates.


Sotiris Goritsas


Sotiris Goritsas, Sakis Totlis (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gerasimos Skiadaressis ... Stavros
Stelios Mainas ... Fotis
Katharina Zapatka Katharina Zapatka ... Greta
Giota Festa Giota Festa ... Eleni
Thanos Grammenos ... Kristo Kitsou
Dimitris Mavropoulos Dimitris Mavropoulos ... Sakis
Yorgos Sambanis Yorgos Sambanis ... Theodoros
Jean-Michel Ribes Jean-Michel Ribes
Lena Sabine Berg Lena Sabine Berg ... Marion (as Sabine Berg)
Yves Raeber ... Hotelier
Veselin Rankov Veselin Rankov
Meletis Georgiadis ... Turkish Driver
Andreas Natsios Andreas Natsios ... Kalamatianos
Bernhard Bettermann Bernhard Bettermann ... Bank Assistant
Snezhina Petrova Snezhina Petrova ... (as Snegina Petrova)


In dire straits, two childhood friends who struggle to eke out a living somewhere in a sleepy village of Northern Greece--the unassuming bar owner, Stavros, and his impulsive partner, Fotis--summon up the nerve to change their lives once and for all. With their risky but seemingly infallible plan pivoting around the simple notion of exchanging American dollars to Bulgarian levs and then profiting from the difference between the currency exchange rates, the desperate and inexperienced opportunists set out on a mission across the late-1990s Balkans. Now, as East meets West aboard a rickety and completely unreliable Peugeot 404, the heist that promises to set Fotis and Stavros up for life begins; however, are they prepared to accept what awaits them at the end of this long road trip? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1990s | 90s | greece | greek | hellas | See All (63) »





Release Date:

16 April 1997 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Balkan Express See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie was screened during 1997-1998 and sold 290,000 tickets. It came 1st out of 14 movies. See more »


References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Performed by Giorgos Tsagrinos
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User Reviews

Amusing but requiring familiarity with the area
26 November 1998 | by dimitris-2See all my reviews

I personally liked the film, but I think it needs some intimate knowledge of northern Greek culture (e.g. to understand football-related jokes), and of the current "economic and cultural" exchange with Greece's northern neighbour Bulgaria (e.g. the 100s of "night-clubs" with Bulgarian dancers that have appeared in Greece during the past 5 years) to appreciate its fine points. Although it has been a mega-hit in Greece last year I doubt if it can become a success elsewhere. Anyway, my impression is that it accurately describes a lot of elements of contemporary Balkan mentality (if there is such a thing) and is amusing to watch.

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