Dickinson College’s Italian department hosted their annual Italian film festival and invited two Italian filmmakers to partake in the activities.
The department welcomed Angelo Pasquini, who wrote the screenplay for the film, The Stolen Caravaggio, and Antonio Falduto, an Italian-based film director.
The festival took place over a two-day period. On Sunday, Nov. 17, audiences watched The Stolen Caravaggio at 7 p.m. in Althouse 106. On Monday, Nov. 18, audiences watched The Mayor of Rione Sanità at 5 p.m. in Weiss 235. Both films were followed by a question and answer session and a catered dinner provided by Marcello’s Ristorante & Pizza.
A packed audience filled Weiss 235 for the second day of the film festival. 50 members of the Dickinson College community were in attendance, including students of the Italian department and Italian faculty.
Both films centered around mafia culture in present day Italy. The Mayor of Rione Sanità told the story of Antonio Barracano or nicknamed “The Mayor” for his powerful status in society. Associate Professor of Italian & Film Studies Nicoletta Marini Maio introduced the film with a description of Antonio’s nickname as The Mayor. “Mayor is powerful in the mafia,” Maio said.
The film, directed by Mario Martone and released to Italian viewers in 2019, highlighted Antonio’s shady business dealings outside of law enforcement. Meanwhile, a young man and his pregnant fiancée visit Antonio to arrange the murder of his father. The young man’s father, a wealthy bakery owner, forced him out of the house, and the young man wants revenge because he and his fiancé are now homeless. This leaves Antonio at a moral crossroads because his business fulfills murders requested by other people, but he does not want to murder the man’s father because he believes their relationship can be repaired. Antonio chooses to carry-out the murder by planning to kill the man’s father at his bakery after-hours. The movies follows the consequences of Antonio’s decision to carry out the murder.
Students that participated in the festival shared positive reactions. Sadie Fowler ’22 said she enjoyed both films because they showcased less stereotypical versions of mafia culture. “Many Americans think of the Italian mafia as that of The Godfather,” she said. Fowler also appreciated Pasquini’s presence at La Storia Senza Nome since he answered audience questions about the film.
Students that attended the second night of the festival also shared positive reactions. Chloe Parnell ’22 and Kenzie Sheehan ’23 both liked the theatrical aspects of the film. “It was a good hybrid between theatrics and cinema,” said Parnell. Sabrina Lalor ’23 agreed with both Parnell and Sheehan. “I thought it was really interesting and different in the way it was filmed,” Lalor said.
The Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia helped support the festival. Franklin & Marshall College continued the festival with a showing of the 2018 film, Just Like My Son, on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.