Director Giorgio Diritti’s Un Giorno Devi Andare, due to be shown in competition at next month’s Sundance Film Festival, has special significance: 2013 is the Year of Italian Culture In the United States.
Italy’s foreign affairs minister inaugurated the event Wednesday with the loan of a Michelangelo sculpture to a major American gallery, Washington’s prestigious National Gallery of Art. It has been in Florence’s Bargello sculpture gallery and last traveled to Washington’s National Gallery in 1949 for the inauguration of United States President Harry S.Truman.
Italy’s year of culture in the U.S. will involve more than 180 events in 40 American cities, with the goal of presenting Italian historical and artistic traditions as well as its more innovative efforts.
Back to Sundance: Un Giorno Devi Andare, or There Will Come A Day, is an Italian/Chilean collaboration about a young woman (Jasmina Trinca) who leaves Italy after a family tragedy and goes to the Amazon rainforest. From the Sundance website:
– A personal crisis sends Augusta, a young Italian woman, far from home on a search for faith and meaning in her life. True to her devout Catholic background, she decides to accompany a nun as she ministers to indigenous Brazilian villages along the Amazon River. Gradually disillusioned with the hierarchical nature of the work, Augusta opts to stay in the port city of Manaus, where she joins a favela community and works alongside the family she adopts there. Tragedy strikes, and she embarks on a bold journey of self-realization—in complete isolation where she can finally face herself completely.
A feast for the eyes, There Will Come a Day captures the grandeur of the Amazon with gorgeous aerial shots and contrasts them with intimate, textured moments among characters in close quarters, inspiring us to reflect on scale and perspective. Toggling between hushed moments with Augusta’s religious mother in Italy and the more colorful, energized world of Brazil, this layered, meditative film subtly explores how spiritual questions materialize at different stages of life, how destabilizing experiences yield new insight, and how our postcolonial era reframes the very notion of altruism.
Also at Sundance, a movie made in Italy from a Cilean director, Alicia Scherson, Il Futuro (The Future),
– When her parents die in a car accident, adolescent Bianca’s universe is upended. Staying alone in the family’s Rome apartment and entrusted with the care of her younger brother, Tomas, she struggles to hold it together as her place in her surreal new world becomes blurry. Life is further complicated when Tomas’s gym-rat friends invite themselves to stay indefinitely. Using Bianca as a lure for a heist they’ve concocted, they convince her to initiate a sexual relationship with enigmatic blind hermit Maciste, played by Rutger Hauer. But as the two spend time together, Bianca unexpectedly finds normalcy and acceptance in the aging B-movie star and former Mr. Universe’s rococo mansion.
Alicia Scherson’s striking third feature uses the streets of Rome to create a world both richly beautiful and unapologetically provocative—the very aesthetic reflecting Bianca’s disorientation as the future becomes her present. Even the unsettling score morphs with her, growing bigger and bolder as she does. The Future’s lead actor, Manuela Martelli, fearlessly embodies Bianca’s confusion and vulnerability, capturing her slow climb to maturity through a series of subtle shifts and revelations.