The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will ... See full summary »
A group of African men leave Senegal in a pirogue captained by a local fisherman to undertake the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic to Spain where they believe better lives and prospects are waiting for them.
Luciano is a Neapolitan fishmonger who supplements his modest income by pulling off little scams together with his wife Maria. A likeable, entertaining guy, Luciano never misses an opportunity to perform for his customers and countless relatives. One day his family urge him to try out for Big Brother. In chasing this dream his perception of reality begins to change. Written by
One of the things I have read more frequently about this movie is that, since it talks about the TV program "Big Brother", which in Italy has already reached the 12th season, it's supposed to be a decade late. Well: it's not, as the "Reality" mentioned in the title is obviously not the one of the TV-genre, but the actual one of nowadays Italy.
As Woody Allen wrote once, "life doesn't imitates art: imitates bad television". Following this line, the first scene is by far the more "fantastic" of the whole movie: we see an incredibly rich marriage ceremony, and we are not on TV or in any other fiction, but we are supposed to be in the real world - even if the settings and the outfits looks like a David LaChappelle picture. But later, when the guests go back to their homes, we see how theirs everyday "Reality" is made of poor dirty houses, impossibly crowded interiors, daily struggles and tricks to arrange a living. All places depicted completely lack any sign of awareness or responsible living in the world: newspapers don't exist, books are never read or shown, Internet is never searched and receipts during commercial transactions are never issued. In this wasteland of culture and decency, feelings still grows. We can see that the main character still genuinely loves and cares for his wife and kids, and he could be called, in his own way, a good family man. But disaster suddenly happens when his set of values proves to be not enough to properly relate with the ghosts of fame and success.
This "Bigbrother" thing, when it was introduced in Italy had some cultural appeal, and for some months represented something worthy to talk about. But it has quickly evolved in a tire and sad repetition of the same situations, that seems to aim at a lower target every further year: and after more than 10 years of lowering, now it doesn't have audiences anymore, but victims. This movie will show you how one of those victims undergoes his own sacrifice. So, be prepared: it can't be anything else than a very sad story highlighted anyhow by some great actor performances.
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