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Berlinale, Generation 2014 | Il Sud è Niente | South Is Nothing, DIRECTOR: Fabio Mollo, ITA/FRA 2013 | © B24/Madakai
Director: Fabio Mollo
Italy / France 2013, 90 min, Italian
Grazia lives with her father in a dilapidated coastal town in southern Italy where she has to help out at his fish shop. She has no real prospects in life, but beneath her inscrutable expression she harbours a deep longing for her missing brother, Pietro. He appears to her, as if in a dream, when she dives deep down under the waves. People say he’s dead, but her father refuses to answer any of her questions about him. And so Grazia searches desperately for some other truth. Her father doesn’t realise that his silence is about to make him lose his daughter as well. One night Grazia dances with a boy in a derelict, deserted fairground. At first her movements are hesitant and stiff, but all at once she lets herself go. This constitutes a rare moment of freedom in a place where the only good thing to do is leave – heading north, or perhaps out across the sea. In his taciturn, realistic cinematic debut, Fabio Mollo does not merely tell the story of one family’s tragedy; he also paints a critical portrait of a society which traditionally suffers in silence and refuses to discuss the roots of its problems.