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1 item from 2010

Hit film gives Italy chance to close north-south divide

15 October 2010 7:20 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Box office success of the film Benvenuti al Sud suggests Italians can overcome Northern League-style separatist prejudice

It is shamelessly unoriginal. None of the actors is a front-rank star. And it was the director's first solo feature movie.

Yet a new Italian comedy, Benvenuti al Sud (Welcome to the South), has achieved box office success by getting Italians to laugh at one of their most deeply held convictions: that an unbridgeable divide separates the rich north of their country from the poor south.

Released on 1 October, Benvenuti al Sud grossed €3.8 million (£3.3m) in its first weekend, pushing the Us sci-fi blockbuster Inception into second place at the box office. Cinema managers reported the sale of tickets per screen was at levels usually only seen at Christmas.

The film is an acknowledged remake of a French movie, Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, which told the story of a southern postal employee unhappily transferred to the north. »

- John Hooper

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