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Get Your Feet Planted On "Terrafirma"

On the small island of Linosa, not far from Sicily, fishing has become a dying occupation. Elderly Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio) seems to be the only holdout still attempting to make money in that field. When Ernesto’s boat is badly damaged, his son Nino (Giuseppe Fiorello) urges him to sell the boat and start a new life instead of wasting his time in repairing it. But it’s his daughter-in-law Giuletta (Donatella Finocchiaro) who convinces him to sell the boat when she takes charge of their lives, along with that of her son Filippo (Filippo Pucillo), after the three-year anniversary memorial service for her husband’s death at sea.

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Terraferma | Review

Solid Ground: Crialese’s Heartfelt Message Movie

In his fourth feature film, Emanuele Crialese tackles issues of immigration and the inhumanity that transpires from man-made laws in Terraferma, a film that just as scrappily begs one to look past the heavy-handed message to be moved at the plight of the individuals it depicts. And, for those sentimentally inclined, those moments may be quite easy to forgive, even if they’re increasingly hard to ignore in its final lead up to the grand finale. Fortunately, there’s a poetic rhythm to the arresting visual compositions that couch on magical realism, and its bittersweet melancholic tone, no matter how bluntly delivered, is still an effectively realized portrait of tenuous humanity.

On Linosa, a small island off the coast of Italy, Filippo (Filippo Pucillo) is the third generation of a family of fishermen, and the industry has slowly dwindled into nothing, leaving his remaining family beleaguered.
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Predictability and Heavy-handed Storytelling in Terraferma

Predictability and Heavy-handed Storytelling in Terraferma
Save them, or let them drown? This is the question facing a fisherman on the tiny Italian island of Linosa, whose waters have become an arrival point for North African refugees seeking asylum. In this subtle-as-a-brick issue picture from director Emanuele Crialese (Respiro), an old fisherman (Mimmo Cuticchio) and his 20-year-old grandson, Filippo (Filippo Pucillo), rescue Sara (Timnit T.), a pregnant Ethiopian woman, and her son from the sea, and sneak them home, where Filippo's mother, Giulia (Donatella Finocchiaro), delivers Sara's baby. From here, Crialese shifts ungracefully between scenes of the locals bickering among themselves, partying tourists ravaging the shoreline, and policemen hauling—in slow motion—weakened refugees off to jail (as the tourists snap pho...
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DVD Release: Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy

DVD Release Date: Dec. 11, 2012

Price: DVD $24.95

Studio: First Run Features

In the 2009 documentary film Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy, actor John Turturro (The Big Lebowski) takes an intimate journey to his maternal homeland of Sicily, with a focus on the land’s traditional puppet theater.

While in Sicily, Turturro is taken under the wing of Mimmo Cuticchio, one of the puppet theater’s few remaining practitioners, who runs the Opera dei Pupi. Cuticchio instructs Turturro in the distinctively Sicilian art of puppetry, which offers numerous colorful adventures set in a stylized puppet world of honorable knights, dragons, duels, mermaids and magic.

Filmed during preparations for the Sicilian Day of the Dead, the film is directed by Turturro’s longtime collaborator, Roman Paska, himself a world-renowned puppeteer.

Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy (or Prove per una tragedia siciliana, in its native tongue), which functions as both an homage to the art
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BFI London Film Festival 2011: 'Terraferma'

  • CineVue
★★☆☆☆ Every European country seems convinced that it is an especial victim of illegal immigration. The UK sees itself as a soft touch, as do Germany and France. For Italy, the geographical proximity to Northern Africa and a long coastline has led to some extremely draconian legislation to deal with the perceived crisis. This is the context of Emanuele Crialese's award-winning film, Terraferma (2011), which screens tonight at the BFI London Film Festival.

Terraferma is an angry and heartfelt denunciation of the situation, but despite a beautiful opening sequence - the camera emerging from underwater scenes to the reality of a fisherman's life - the film sinks beneath its crude characterisations, melodramatic twists and the mawkish simplicity of its own politics. This simplicity is best represented by the Forrest Gump-like Filippo (Filippo Pucillo), who fishes with his noble grandfather Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio). Each character stands for something, and so in
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