The day of the second Italian film in competition at the Berlin Film Festival has arrived: after «I wanted to hide» by Giorgio Rights (but we should also mention «Siberia» by the American Abel Ferrara, a co-production between Italy, Germany and Mexico) «Favolacce» by the D’Innocenzo brothers.
The two Roman twins, born in 1988, return to Berlin where they had presented their first work, “The land of enough”.
Set in the most isolated residential suburbs of Rome, the film tells of some families whose life seems to flow serenely and without great hitches: in this reassuring picture, tensions begin to arise, due to the children, diligent at school but totally alone and deeply unhappy.
As in their debut, the D’Innocenzo brothers think about the parent-child comparison, in this feature film that tells the hypocrisy of many families and neighborhoods, as well as the anger that may arise among the youngest in the face of behaviors that they appear merely of etiquette.
A dark fairy tale
It could be called «Favolacce» an ambitious dark fairy tale, a choral story that also looks a bit at the cinema of Matteo Garrone, director with whom the D’Innocenzo brothers collaborated for «Dogman».
Despite this possible connection, the two authors show that they have an increasingly personal touch, capable of shaking consciences and of not turning the camera away even in the face of particularly strong and cruel scenes.
Powerful in the staging and shocking in the story, “Favolacce” constantly plays over the top, takes many risks, but overall manages to maintain a remarkable balance.
The talent of these two new, young authors who are among the most interesting names in contemporary Italian cinema is truly enviable. In addition to their ability in editing and behind the camera, they stand out as two excellent directors of actors, given that the entire cast does its job very well.
It is a film that will divide, even at an international level, but which for its great courage could enter the prize list: it really deserves it.
The Woman Who Ran
The long-awaited South Korean film Hong Sang-soo, “The Woman Who Ran” was also presented.
The director often awarded at major festivals stages a female story, with a protagonist who meets and converses with several other women, on themes ranging from daily life to existential reflections.
Hong Sang-soo is not denied with this film fully in its style, made of simple shots and always polite and delicate ideas.
The refinement is not lacking, but there are no great sequences to remember and most of the reasoning proposed knows already seen and can no longer amaze as in the past.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
It is a curious product from the title the American “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” by Eliza Hittman.
The protagonist is a Pennsylvania girl who got pregnant unwittingly. Together with her cousin, she leaves for New York in order to have an abortion, but the trip will above all be a way of confronting herself.
A film with strong themes, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is a film on women’s solidarity, highly topical and capable of dealing with a just rigor with the right rigor.
It is a pity that the trend is a bit swinging and several passages appear decidedly redundant, but there are still elements of great interest, starting from the conversation that gives meaning to the title of the work.