Directed by Gabriele Salvatores
Written by Niccolo Ammaniti & Francesa Marciano
Cinematography by Italo Petriccione
Music by Pepo Scherman & Ezio Bosso
Cast: Giuseppe Cristiano, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Dino Abbrescia, Giorgio Careccia, Mattia Di Pierro, Diego Abatantuono & Susy Sanchez

2003/105 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
2.35:1 anamorphic/Italian/Italy/PAL Region 2

Review from the Medusa DVD

Living in a poor rural district in southern Italy, Michele (Guiseppe Cristiano) is a 10-year-old boy who spend his summer exploring the countryside, riding his bicycle and enjoying youth. One day while playing around an abandonned villa, he discovers a hole with what looks like a foot coming out of a dirty blanket deep into the darkness. Fast enough he runs back home and tell no one about it... the next day he returns and find out that it is a boy that is being held captive, chained, hungry, weak and almost blind. Michele feeds him and soon becomes a savior to the young boy who Michele later find out on the television news is called, Filippo.

Michele's father, a truck diver whose visits home are moments of great importance for the familly, along with some friends of his are back home... Michele doesn't trust them as he suspect them to be involved in the kidnapping. His beautiful young mother (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) seem to know something but she doesn't want her familly to get hurt so she doesn't speak about it. Who can he trust and what will he do?

Based on a novel written by Niccolo Ammanit, he also helped Francesca Marciano with the screenplay. This is not a horror film but a thrilling coming-of-age through the eyes of Michele who slowly tries to complete the puzzle of the kidnapping by himself. Beautifully shot with gorgeous scenery and with rich color contrast, we can almost feel the heat of the summer days. Salvatores has once again created a poetic drama where everything is different in the eyes of children and where a day might look like a lifetime. Another admirable film from the director of MEDITERRANEO and DENTI.

As always, Medusa have release a great DVD edition. First of all, the film is presented in a stunning 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. The image looks great with razor sharp, well saturated, rich and vivid colors. There is simply no imperfection with the look of the film. We get a 5.1 Dolby Digital Italian track along with a 5.1DD dubbed Spanish track. This is a rather quiet film so it is mostly the magnificent score by Scherman and Bosso that takes full advantage of the 5.1 capabilites. We also get a commentary track with the director but in Italian only. The film features easy to read and nicely translated removable English subtitles.

The second disc features many extras but none of them feature any English subtitles. 'Il film, la storia, la musica' is a very interesting 35 minutes documentary on the film, the story and not surprisingly... the music. We get interviews with the people behind the film and lots of behind-the-scenes footage. The chemistry between the director and the kids looked very good and joyful. Most of the cast are interviewed. 'Dietro le quinte' is 12 more minutes of behind-the-scenes with Salvatores talking about the film. We also get the nicely edited and effective theatrical trailer, there's two still galleries with the musical score playing in the background. The first one are color photos of the film while the second are black and white pix of the making of the film. The menus are nicely designed and simple. The film itself is separated in 30 chapters, and the two disc comes in a very nice digipack along with a rather useless 4 pages booklet. It will be interesting to see how Miramax handles this film here in North America.





This Film Features:

Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©

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