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Italy, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Nanni Moretti

Nanni Moretti has been touted as Italy's answer to Woody Allen principally for his combination of scathing social humour and consistent use of himself as the sub­ject for his own films. April tackles three years in the life of Moretti and his nation, from the election of Silvio Berlusconi as premiere of Italy in March 1994 to the birth of the director's son, Pietro, and the triumph of the Left in Spring 1996 and his 43rd birthday in August 1997.

A simple enough structure that serves as the framework for a whimsical diary documentary about the current political situation in Italy. Moretti cannily satiris­es himself alongside the absurdities of the media and politics. Though more solipsistic that his tremendous Dear Diary (1994), April's wit and sharpness cut through.

In his own idiosyncratic manner Moretti allows us to share the vicissitudes of his recent past and person­al insights tram the trivial (his opinion of Kathryn Bigelow's sci-fi actioner Strange Days) to the weighty (parenthood and political progress in Italy), as well as his Woody Allen-esque collection of neuroses and obsessions. Clever and comic but committed.

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