A family of beekeepers living in the Tuscan countryside finds their household disrupted by the simultaneous arrival of a silently troubled teenage boy and a reality TV show intent on showcasing the family.
Maria Alexandra Lungu,
During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.
Thirteen year-old Marta has recently moved back to southern Italy with her mother and older sister and struggles to find her place, restlessly testing the boundaries of an unfamiliar city and the catechism of the Catholic church.
Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.
This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping. This strange and improbable alliance is a revelation for Lazzaro. A friendship so precious that it will travel in time and transport Lazzaro in search of Tancredi. His first time in the big city, Lazzaro is like a fragment of the past lost in the modern world.
With Lazzaro Felice, Alice Rohrwacher wanted to use the adventures of Lazzaro to tell the tragedy that has devastated her country, namely the passage from a material Middle Ages to a human Middle Ages: the end of rural civilization, the migration to city boundaries of thousands of people who knew nothing of modernity, their giving up of little to have even less. See more »
Marchesa Alfonsina De Luna:
Human beings are like animals. Set them free and they realize they are slaves locked in their own misery. Right now, they suffer, but they don't know. I exploit them, they exploit that poor man. It's a chain reaction that can't be stopped.
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Aria taken from the opera "Norma" (1831)
Composed by Vincenzo Bellini See more »
There are some in our lives that exist beyond the scope of time or universally accepted countenance, those like Lazzaro who bear the kindness of a child and the internal strength of an ox. In Alice Rohrwacher junior film Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro), the title character develops an unlikely friendship with the heir to a tobacco industry marquis. This same marquis has kept Lazzaro and his kin imprisoned as unpaid workers on a farm isolated from the modern world. The film mesmerizingly drifts between somber and bitter-sweet notes while the tobacco leaves and sway and the sun bakes the earth. Because the work is captured in warm 16mm, the setting feels like a piece of art from a lost age. Every character is real. A pinch is required to remind the viewer that this is not a dream or a production, Lazzaro and his partner in crime Tancredi are flesh and blood.
The sound profile's depth compliments Lazzaro Felice's archaic beauty. The score uses music box chiming and staccato piano strikes, both of which echo throughout the Italian hills. Despite the Italian language barrier, one can understand the plot from vocal inflections alone. Lastly, the sound effects are rich. The pitter patter of the wolves' claws over concrete is distinct from the crunch of sand and soil underfoot.
Lazzaro Felice is not to be missed. It calls to mind an air of innocence and perseverance in spite of the world. It beckons home the love of youth and family.
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