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Sabina has a regular life. She is satisfied with her job and her love for Franco. Lately nightmares start disturbing her, and almost in the same time she discovers to be pregnant. Step by step she remembers her childhood spent within a severe middle-class family. But a big secret is hidden within her heart. Sabina wants to contact again her brother, a University teacher in the US, to try to understand what is happened in their past. What is the secret? She is determined to bring clarity and serenity in her life. She finally manages to free herself from her "beast inside the heart". Written by
Another wonderful, poignant female lead delivery from Giovanna Mezzogiorno of "Facing Windows" and "The Last Kiss"
Be it Sabina in w-d Cristina Comencini's "La Bestia Nel Cuore" 2005, or Giovanna in w-d Ferzan Ozpetek's "La Finestra Di Fronte" 2003, or Giulia in w-d Gabriele Muccino's "L'Ultimo Bacio" 2001, Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno's portrayals are so complexly simple and 'relishingly' memorable to watch.
"Don't Tell" may not be for everyone due to the difficult, sensitive subject matter. There were Hollywood or television movies that dealt with this 'beastly' subject, and "Bliss" (1996 from writer-director Lance Young) came to mind. "Bliss" is more frank and direct in dealing with the sexual repression issue (the film is for mature audience.) Here with "Don't Tell" - based on her own novel "The Beast in the heart," co-writer and director Cristina Comencini gave us a more 'insider viewpoint' on this issue of family secrets. Through Sabina's anxieties, reactions to her nightmares, and through her brother Daniele's flashbacks and accounts of his childhood responses to his parents, we could feel the painful memories along with them.
But the film is never heavy. Comencini has created for us sketches of life: we get to see Sabina in her everyday life, meeting the people she's with and cares for. Through them, we get the balance of humor in the conversations we eavesdrop vs. the somber subject of Sabina struggling internally with unwanted childhood memories. There is Emilia
a longtime childhood blind friend Sabina helps and visits regularly;
Maria - a colleague at her marital crossroads Sabina hangs out and chats with; Franco - Sabina's actor boyfriend she loves and lives with; and through Franco at work on a TV soap series, we meet the lively director Andrea Negri, who somehow adds colorful tenderness to the young (love in, love out) couple of Sabina and Franco.
"A scar is an indelible mark, but it's not an illness," so Daniele, now married with a loving American wife and father of two sons, said to his sister Sabina. There are painful memories that we cannot erase, but we survive and learn to live anew, going beyond the past vs. wallowing in it. "Don't Tell" is a worthwhile film to experience. Thanks to Rosanna Del Bruno's translation (also on Gabriele Salvatore's "I'm Not Scared" 2003), the subtitles were easy to absorb as we appreciate the wonderful performances all round. For the fans of "The Best of Youth" (aka "La Meglio Gioventu") 2003, both the Carati brothers are featured in this film: Luigi Lo Cascio (Nicola) is Daniele the brother, and Alessio Boni (Matteo) is Franco the boyfriend.
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