Miele, starring Jasmine Trinca and directed by Valeria Golino is available on Netflix.
In Valeria Golina’s feature film directorial debut, Miele, she takes on a big subject, euthanasia, one that could have ended up being either too complicated or too cliché for a novice director. Instead, what might have been pedantic and sentimental propaganda either for or against the controversial topic is more the story of a person, more specifically a woman, with a code name “Miele”, and what she believes about the right to live the life that we choose.
“Miele” is Irene, played by Jasmine Trinca (The Son’s Room), an assisted suicide practitioner and therefore a virtual outlaw in Italy who flies to Mexico to buy a drug intended for dogs and uses it to help terminally ill Italians end their lives. She does this work in which she believes completely with detached efficiency, reminding her clients that they can back out at any time, acting the silent observer when they don’t, and then moving on to the next case.
As the suicides add up, Irene is like one of those characters in movies about exorcists or heroes fighting the forces of Hell, ones who after every battle with the devil are weakened and diminished. Like them, her work is gradually sucking the life out of her, and when she meets a man who is not ill but simply wants to die, she finds herself drawing a line.
In truth, Miele isn’t really a suicide movie but more about the people that have to spend a little too much time on Death’s front porch. Irene could have been a soldier, a cancer doctor, or a psychic who conducts seances. She’s belongs that society of people that see death every day and have to pretend that they don’t when they are out in the real world. Can anybody really successfully do that and not end up pretty screwed up?
Jasmine Trinca won an Italian golden globe for best actress for this role.