5 September 2013 10:14 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The ring road around Rome, the Grande Raccordo Anulare is the most extensive urban highway in Italy and the locale for Gianfranco Rosi’s intriguing concept of a documentary, “Sacro Gra.” Punning on the “Sacro Graal,” or “Holy Grail,” this follow-up to Rosi’s American-set “Below Sea Level” takes a neutral look at intriguingly disparate lives near the highway’s edge, yet neglects to demonstrate why they should all be in one film. Diversity alone isn’t enough to warrant inclusion, and without deeper delving into personalities or a more cogent construction, the idea remains more absorbing than the final product. Docu fests await.

Rosi spent more than two years scouting and filming along the 43.5-mile freeway, and eight months working with ace cutter Jacopo Quadri, editing the material in a manner described as choral but more accurately labeled recurring solos. Though the idea of locating what’s distinctive about »


- Jay Weissberg

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Gianfranco Rosi (I)
Italo Calvino
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