Review: Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro" Is a Tale As Old As Time

  • MUBI
To the religious sceptic, a lot of miracles read smoother as metaphors: the bread not literal flesh, the wine not blood. What remains is the impulse to spin meaning, wherever it can be found, into comforting forms. In Alice Rohrwacher’s films, motifs of faith and folklore thread brief magic into working class lives. Her characters summon the immaterial to sensuous effect: a young girl cups a ray of sunlight in a dark barn, pooled warmth held against her mouth as if to drink; after a day of unpaid labor, weary workers blow wind at the turned back of a young marquis, the force of their defiance ferried by a mouth-made breeze. These innocuous transformations are reprieve from a hostile world, where the furtive movements of a changing nation are set against pockets of defiant time. In Corpo Celeste (2011), a young girl watches the Catholic church yoke its flagging customs
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