Review | ‘Padrenostro’ is one of the highlights of the Italian Film Festival

Padrenostro | Dir: Claudio Noce | ★ ★ ★ ★  

This is a very personal film for Italian writer/director Claudio Noce whose father was wounded but survived an attempted assassination when he was a child. Set in Rome in 1976, the story is told through the eyes of 10 year-old Valerio (Mattia Garaci), although Noce would have only been 2 years old at the time.

Witnessing the gunning down of his father Alfonso (Pierfrancesci Favino) on the street outside their house left a lasting impression on Valerio but the adults didn’t want to talk about it. In the opening of the film, Valerio actually watches one of the would-be assassins as he lies dying on the road while his father is rushed to hospital.

Valerio is quite a solitary child but one day, while playing with his football on the street, he meets and older boy and he becomes friends with the enigmatic Christian (Francesco Gheghi). Apparently homeless, the scruffy Christian is both charming and threatening and tends to disappear when other people show up.

Like the child, the audience is left to fill in the gaps that a left wing terrorist group was responsible and Valerio’s father seems to be important enough to have security allocated. When the family and the security contingent move to sunny Calabria, Christian turns up as well. But the tone of the film wanders into father/son bonding territory and it is at that point I wish I had the translation of the title which is the key to the film.

Padrenostro screens at the Italian Film Festival which returns to Perth on 20 October and runs until 14 November – celebrating Italian culture, stories and language at Palace Cinemas Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema.

The full program is online at www.italianfilmfestival.com.au and tickets are on sale now. 

Lezly Herbert


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