LÀ BAS: A CRIMINAL EDUCATION
written and directed by Guido Lombardi
Gomorrah in which our skeevy young anti-heroes pull a fast one on a group of blacks who appear to exist in their own little community in the south of Italy. That movie moved so fast that one hardly had time to consider much about this group, except perhaps to wonder, what are they doing here? Now first-time narrative filmmaker (he made a documentary the prior year), Guido Lombard, takes us inside a community of African immigrants based in the south of Italy, mostly illegals, discovering them pretty firmly divided into criminal and non-criminal elements, with a certain amount of back-and-forth involved -- particularly from one character who makes up the center of this interesting and gorgeously photographed movie.
IMDB, rare for this treasure trove, was not much help either), I can't single out performers for praise.
Donatella Finocchiaro, shown two photos up) is probably the most conflicted, wanting to follow both the business-like imperative of her brother, who'll do anything to keep tourists coming to the island, and her father, who hews to the old ways. Filippo (a lovely, very real performance from Crialesi regular Filippo Pucillo, above), is conflicted, too, in his own confused and adolescent manner. Only Gramps (a noble, angy performance by Mimmo Cuticchio, shown below, in the midst of a message made of fish) has any certainty. This makes the resolution of the film -- which, like so much of this year's Open Roads, brings the theme of justice to the fore -- all the more difficult and dearly earned.
Cohen Media Group. It will play at the Walter Reade this coming Wednesday, June 13, at 2:15 and 6:15 pm. (You can see the entire Open Roads schedule here.)
Italian Production Designer
directed and written by Gianfranco Giagni
Note: This complete the entire rundown of this year's
Open Roads festival of new Italian films.
See you next year, I hope, for the 2013 edition....