Italian Movies Are Educational
1) Older women are still relevant and maybe even sexy.
My favorite movie, Italian or otherwise, is special to me because its about a “mature” woman in love and a woman my age appreciates that once in awhile. Rosalba and Fernando’s love story in Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips) is just as powerful as any teenager’s.
2) Men feel irrelevant when they get older too.
I was under the impression that only women start feeling invisible as they age, but in Gianni e le Donne (The Salt of Life) Gianni Di Gregorio shows us that it’s not easy for any of us.
3) The Mafia is scary.
We all know that the Mafia is scary, but I think that Americans in particular have started underestimating its scariness. We watch impotent leaders like Tony Soprano and mafia spoofs and need a movie like Matteo Garrone’s Gamorra (Gamorrah) to bring us back to reality.
4) Italians struggle with a bad economy.
Yeah, OK, everyone is struggling with a bad economy, but Italy’s is scary bad. Young people are leaving in droves to find employment opportunity. In L’Intrepido, Antonio Albanese plays a guy who comes up with a unique idea, a new job for the unemployed.
5) America thinks its immigration problem is bad? Italy’s is arguably worse.
The floods of illegal immigrants are testing the kind hearts of the Italians and no film illustrates this better than Emmanuale Crialese’s Terraferma.
6) The Mafia wasn’t even Italy’s biggest problem in the 70’s and 80’s.
The Anni Di Piombo (Years of lead) meant non-stop terror for Italians when the Red Brigades and other terrorist groups ran rampant. Marco Bellocchio’s Buongiorno Notte (Goodnight Day) tells the story of the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro.
7) Italians really do care about food more than anyone else.
Italian movies always make me hungry, but in Io Sono L’Amore it’s hard to tell the food from the love and the sex.
8) Mamma Mia! The Mammone is no stereotype!
Don’t believe me? Take a look at Gianni in Pranzo di Ferragosto. (Mid-August Lunch).
9) Italians have their own Mason-Dixon Line.
And it’s the north and the south just like ours. Divided by just north of Rome (my guess), the northerners and southerners in Italy feel like they live in two separate countries sometimes. Watch Benvenuti al Sud for a very sweet and funny story about it.
10) Italy is more beautiful and diverse than even I knew.
How can all this beauty fit into one country?