Athoa i Enohi? (1963)

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One might view this grim melodrama from Greek filmmaker Nestoras Matsas, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Kostas Assimakopoulos, as a penetrating examination of the ethical implications of euthanasia. To do so, however, requires an almost Herculean suspension of disbelief as this sappy soap-opera wallows through a host of depressing plot contrivances on its way to a downbeat ending so hopeless as to make the viewer wish to be euthanized himself. Antigoni Valakou stars as the misbegotten heroine, who suffers through the incurable illness of her husband (Nikos Tzoyas) until she is driven to offer him an easier way to escape his unbearable pain. Naturally, the quality of her mercy is restrained by the legal system, which promptly puts her in shackles and tries her for murder in the first degree. Needless to say, the poor woman has been through a great deal of misery already, and the trial only exacerbates her suffering and nagging guilt until she is finally driven to take her own life. Her suicide results in a mistrial, and the viewer is left to settle the question in his own mind as Matsas turns his camera skyward to look for divine guidance.