North American Premiere
Felice (Pierfrancesco Favino) returns to Naples and for the first time in 40 years. His mother is ailing, nearly blind, and he’s dismayed by how she’s living. But he’s also struck powerfully by memories of his adolescence, memories which mix warmth, joy, regret, and shame. As the days turn to weeks, this flood of memories glues him to the city. He’s not proud of who he used to be back then, but he knows there is unfinished business here; that he must reconnect with his best friend from those days, Oreste, now a feared crime boss in a squalid part of town, and make peace between them.
Director Mario Mortine (The King of Laughter; Leopardi) is himself a Neopolitan, and the city is a fascinating character in this film, alternately attractive and ugly, seductive and sinister. Favino, one of Italy’s best actors (he was Bellocchio’s The Traitor, though you may also recognize him from Hollywood movies like Rush and Angels and Demons) artfully conveys Felice’s dangerous compulsion in a carefully layered performance. Martone begins the movie with a quotation from the poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini and one senses he would approve.
Pierfrancesco Favino, Francesco Di Leva, Tommaso Ragno, Aurora Quattrocchi, Sofia Essaidi
In Italian with English subtitles
Friday October 07
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Mario Martone, Ippolita di Majo
Mario Martone is a director of theatre, cinema, and opera. He created the Falso Movimento theatrical company in the 1980s and then founded Teatri Uniti with Toni Servillo, through which he created his first independent films. In 1999, he created Teatro India in Rome. In 2018, the Museo Madre in Naples dedicated a large personal exhibition to him. During the pandemic, he adapted Barbiere di Siviglia and La Traviata for television. He recently came back in front of a live audience with the staging of Goliarda Sapienza’s Il filo di mezzogiorno.
Filmography: We Believed (2010); Leopardi (2014); Capri-Revolution (2018); The King of Laughter (2021)