I am on my last day of new Italian films, Italian films that sadly, for the most part, don’t have distribution here in the US. Watching the powerful filmthe south is nothingby Fabio Mollo, the other night, I was struck by how terrible conditions are in Mollo’s home town of Reggio. This especially saddened me since it was my mother’s home town, and the lingering question of how her life would have been different if her parents had stayed there was only made more poignant when I noticed the similarity between the last name of my mother’s family and Mollo’s heroine. I was shocked and saddened at the stronghold the N’drangheta still has on our region, even in the face of what Mollo says is the desire by a new generation for change.
This afternoon’s screen docket seemed to stay a bit in the South, and while viewing Diliberto’s phenomenal film, la mafia uccide solo d’estate ( the mafia only kills in the summer) I was struck again by the seeming stagnation of the South caused by the stranglehold that the Mafia has had for so long in this beautiful region. While diliberto’s film takes place in Palermo, the message is the same – things must change. He presents it so beautifully, contrasting the comic, the shocking, and the bittersweet so masterfully against a backdrop of young love, and school kid events, that when the Mafia assassinations occur more frequently in the film, they hit you full force. And as they hit me, as the realization that things haven’t changed enough, if at all, in a South that I love, in a South that is tremendous, I started to cry. Right there, in my center row, center seat. While I hope for US distribution for such incredibly well-crafted films as Mollo’s il Sud e niente and Paolo Zucca’s full-course of a film, l’arbitro/ the referee, I hope that Diliberto’s film makes it to many an American screen, and I hope even mor fervently that people go to see this film that makes an observation about the social and political state of the South of Italy while being laugh out loud funny, poignant, and pull out your tissues sad.