Monday, October 8, 2012
Lavazza Italian Film Festival Review: Terraferma (Emanuel Crialese, 2011)
Written and directed by Emanuele Crialese (Golden Door, Respiro), Terraferma is a relevant and stunningly captured island drama that shocked me to my core.
Set on the volcanic Sicillian island of Linosa, a tranquil, idyllic community whose citizens, formerly reliant on fishing, have begun to recognize the economic potential of the booming tourism industry. Twenty year-old Filippo (Filippo Pucillo) and his mother, Giulietta (Donatella Finocchiaro) decide to rent out rooms to tourists for one more summer before leaving in search of a new opportunity. However, when Filippo decides to utilize it both as a fishing vessel and a means to show tourists the picturesque island he encounters a raft full of shipwrecked illegal immigrants making for refuge on the island.
This is Filippo’s story. He’s a young man torn between the traditions upheld by his grandfather and the needs of a new generation. He is supposed to embrace tourism and turn back illegal ‘aliens’ from the ‘terraferma’, but through his encounters, ever escalating and unnerving, and his responses (one in particular is unthinkable), he learns that his moral compass is not in tune with these new laws, and he must rebel. Hearing that someone has turned their back on drowning refugees, willingly or not, is enough to send chills. It is a film about family values, and moral patriotism, and one can certainly attest to this film evoking an emotional response outside of Italian shores.
Continue reading at Graffiti With Punctuation.