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I PREFER THE SOUND OF THE SEA

Italy, 2000 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Mimmo Calopresti

Two of Mimmo Calopresti's feature films have been selected for competition at Cannes. Not bad for a documentary filmmaker who decided to make the switch to drama just five years ago. Calopresli's latest—a densely textured, plaintive film about the friendship between two boys from different worlds—examines the uneasy truce between the North and South of Italy. Divisions between geography, class and generations have been central themes in Italian cinema and Calopresti brings delicacy and emotional resonance to these questions.

Rosario, from Calabria in the South, is a deeply religious adolescent, polite but taciturn and proudly self-sufficient. He has an almost arrogant determination to stick with his convictions, remain in charge of his destiny and accept help from no one. All this despite a father in jail and a mother killed by the Mafia. When Rosario is brought to Turin by distant relative Luigi, he crosses the path of his benefactor's son, Matteo. Matteo, sullen and privileged due to his father's wealth, slowly and awkwardly develops a friendship with Rosario but deep-rooted prejudices linger just below the surface.

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