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FILMS Italy

The Commander and the Stork: a tale on corrupt Italy

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- Silvio Soldini’s third comedy, starring Valerio Mastandrea and Alba Rohrwacher, will be coming out in Italy on October 18

The Commander and the Stork: a tale on corrupt Italy

A stork flies over a city and sees with detachment the moral degradation of a country. Giuseppe Garibaldi’s statue, from the top of its horse, makes bitter comments about the vulgar human desolation surrounding him.

In The Commander and the Stork [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(coming out in Italian theatres on October 18 in 250 copies with Warner Bros) Silvio Soldini was neither hard hitting, nor dis he risk getting his hands too dirty. He managed instead to lightly filter interpretations on real life, perfectly concluding his trilogy made up of Bread and Tulips and Agata and the Storm.

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His realistic phase, seen in Days and Clouds [+see also:
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film profile
]
and Come Undone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
seems to have come to an end. The sophisticated Milanese director is instead pushing a modern tale on contemporary Italy where a love story intertwined with family affairs collides with the materialism of our times.

The main characters are a plumber (Valerio Mastandrea) and his deceased wife (Claudia Gerini), who appears to him in a bikini. His teenage daughter (Serena Pinto) and his wacky thirteen year-old son (Luca Dirodi) also play roles next to a penniless artist (Alba Rohrwacher), her eccentric landlord, a metropolitan moraliser (Giuseppe Battiston), and a lawyer who specialises in corruption cases (Luca Zingaretti).

“Italy is going through tough years. People are falling in the mud and plumbers and artists are getting caught up in the mess. I searched for a new way to tell what I see through fantasy and levitation,” the director explained, speaking from the standpoint of someone who has filmed austere Turin, which saw the birth of Italy some 150 years ago.

Tenderness, irony and jokes – some funny some not (like the southerners and their gift lamb) preside. The film follows two themes. On the one side the difficulty to fully grasp the story, and on the other the monstrosity of social disfigurement. The film stays on balance thanks to the actors’ performance and a thoughtful director.

The Commander and the Stork is a Swiss-Italian coproduction with Lionello Cerri’s Lumière & Co. together with Ventura Films, RSI Swiss Radio Television, in association with Illva Saronno (thanks to tax credit norms), and with support from the Turin Piedmont Film Commission, the Film Commission of the Vallèe D’Aoste, Repubblic and Canton Ticino Filmplus Switzerland Italy, Eurimages and Mibac who recognised the film as being of cultural interest.

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(Translated from Italian)

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