Sprache: Italienisch Untertitel: Englisch Laufzeit: 91 Min. Bildformat: 1.77:1, anamorph Tonformat: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS
Quando è contenta, è troppo contenta, quando è triste, è troppo triste! Kosmische Traurigkeit und unerklärliche Fröhlichkeit: Die beiden poetischen Pole, an denen sie sich aufhält und zwischen denen nichts anderes zu existieren scheint. Und während Grazia solcherart intensiver als die anderen lebt, findet die am tiefblauen Meer lebende Dorfgemeinschaft Schwierigkeiten. Mit einigen der schönsten (unbekannten) Bildern der Filmgeschichte. Gewinner des Puplikumspreises Cannes 2002. (ch)
This beautiful film impacted me at a very physical level. The beauty of the sun baked island of Lampedusa in the turquoise Mediterranean Sea is stunning and elicits images of antiquity. The actors are almost angelic in their beauty. The life of the family and villagers is primal and native, simple and sometimes harsh. There are multiple issues that could be discussed about this film. I will discuss three below:
First, the mother in this story, Grazia, is a functioning manic-depressive who is wild and delightful in her manic stages. Yet, she frightens the town's other residents and she is an embarrassment to her husband, mother-in-law, daughter, and two sons. The overt, primary story line revolves around this woman and the struggle her family endures trying to get her into psychiatric treatment in Milan and then dealing with her mysterious disappearance.
Second, the story explores machismo and male dominance in native village cultures. The father Pietro is often compelled to act in socially prescribed ways, such as demanding complete obedience from his children, beating the children when they misbehave, not allowing his wife to converse with his brothers and buddies, and reacting strongly when his wife puts lipstick on local boys and when oldest son paints his mother's toe nails.
Third, under the primary story of a families reaction to a manic-depressive mother and to the social context of Italy, there is a deeper underlying story of an Oedipal struggle between a father and his eldest son for the love of the mother and the struggle to be her protector. Pietro and Grazia appear to be only around 18 years older than their daughter Marinella and maybe 20 years older than their son Pasquale (who seems to be around 15). The 35 year old Pietro is at the height of lusty manly power and loves his wife completely. Yet when he is pushed by family and neighbors to hospitalize her, it is her eldest son, Pasquale who comes to her rescue. Pasquale is fast leaving the world of boyhood behind and entering the mysterious world of adult sexuality. He struggles with the father, rarely overtly, usually covertly, to save the mother from hospitalization.
It is the resolution of this conflict that begins to dominate the second half of the film and which is the climax of the film. The beauty of the actors and scenery, the basic primal reactions to the struggle for village existence, and the life affirming and basic humanity of this film all come together into a magnificient production.
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