Bologna, Italy, Pre-war scenario. Michele Casali's only teenage daughter, Giovanna Casali, poses a problem to him. Driven by jealousy, she has just killed her best friend. After a painful ...
See full summary »
Bologna, 1954. Taddeo, a young man of 18 whom everyone calls Kid, dreams of becoming one of the regulars of the mythical Margherita Café, located under the portico across from his family's ... See full summary »
Fabio De Luigi
"The Hideout" is a mystery-thriller about an Italian woman who moves to Davenport to open a restaurant. After her husband commits suicide, she spends fifteen years recovering at a Minnesota... See full summary »
Lino Settembre and his wife Chicca lead a tranquil married life without any serious problems. They are satisfied with their careers. He's the sports editor at the Messenger and she's a ... See full summary »
At a farmhouse, a large family cooks mountains of food for the next day's engagement party for Silvia and her city fiancé, Angelo. Her parents feud about infidelity; an aging salesman who ... See full summary »
Lucrezia Lante della Rovere,
Nello Balocchi, a 35-year-old teacher of Greek and Latin, is invited to Bologna by his father, the owner of the Papal tailor's shop in Rome. His father hopes Nello will find a soul mate in ... See full summary »
A seminary student, Giacomo Vigetti, is convicted by the Papal State of seducing a young girl. He is forced to flee and takes refuge with an excommunicated priest. Unfortunately, the priest... See full summary »
A group of former friends meets again after a very long time, in a Christmas night, with the intent of ripping off a rich industrialist in a game of Poker. Old hatreds and mistrusts conflict with the nostalgia for the lost friendships.
Carlo Delle Piane,
Bologna, Italy, Pre-war scenario. Michele Casali's only teenage daughter, Giovanna Casali, poses a problem to him. Driven by jealousy, she has just killed her best friend. After a painful trial, Giovanna is sent to to a psychiatric hospital due to her ¨non compus mentis¨ state . Michele is the only person that takes care of Giovanna during her isolated time at the hospital. Giovanna's mother, Delia, has never had a good relationship with her daughter, something which comes out to be more evident during Giovanna's time in reclusion. Meanwhile, Giovanna and Michele's already strong father-daughter link. Sergio, who is a police inspector and a close friend of Michele's, is the main witness of the whole situation and he is also in love with Delia. By the end of the war, Delia and Sergio took distance from Giovanna and Michele and went Northwards. In 1953, in a small cinema, the original family has an expected encounter.Written by
Considering the characters, the period and the issues involved, the challenge faced by director Pupi Avanti in his relating of the story of Il Papà di Giovanna is in finding the best way to get across a balanced perspective on events. The result is that none of them seem to be entirely satisfactory other than the one who, admittedly, has been chosen as the subject of the film's title - Giovanna's father.
Giovanna's father Michele Casali is an art teacher at a school in Bologna in the late 1930s, just as the grip of Mussolini's fascist goverment is tightening and leading the country toward war. Casali has a teenage daughter who is somewhat delicate, childish and socially awkward for her age. Her father cares for her (her mother appears indifferent), but worries about her ability to lead a normal life, meet boys and get married to someone suitable.
His concerns grow after Giovanna has a bad experience at a party organised by Giovanna's friend and study partner Marcella, whose uncle is a senator in the Mussolini regime. Soon after the party Marcella is found dead in the gymnasium of the school and Michele's suspicions and fears that his daughter was involved in some way are confirmed when Giovanna is accused of the girl's murder. At the end of the trial however, Giovanna is deemed not responsible for her actions and is sent to an institution rather than a prison.
The handling of the case and Giovanna's involvement isn't handled terribly effectively. We are shown nothing, we have seen little of Giovanna's actions or behaviour to be able to understand what has happened, certainly nothing to suggest that she might be capable of murder, and there is very little detail provided on the presentation of the murder case or the trial. GIovanna confesses, giving obscure and unsound reasons for the killing, so there is not even any question of did she or didn't she. Everything is seen from her father's perspective.
Which is all well and good, or at least it's a consistent position, if not entirely a satisfactory one. While we learn and come to greatly admire his dedication in looking after his daughter despite the privations he suffers, sacrificing his marriage, his job, his home and his dignity and having to do it all moreover in he middle of a war, it means that all those other aspects and the characters involved are not afforded a credible voice or perspective of their own.
Giovanna's mother (Francesca Neri) is silent and brooding, offering no sign of inner life or desires other than significant glances she sends the way of their friend and neighbour, who is a police officer. Michele eventually notices (and it's suggested that Giovanna has noticed and that this instability in the family might be the main reason behind Giovanna's breakdown), and leaves her with love and regret. The war and its conclusion.are handled in a cursory fashion, with round ups and shootings that shed little light on what has happened in between.
The relentlessly downbeat situation becomes somewhat depressing, Michele wearing a permanent hangdog expression, his silent sullen wife suffering marriage to a man she doesn't love and a daughter she cares nothing about, Giovanna treated inhumanely in a miserable institution, the war and bombing adding to the horrors. Despite the grimness of the situation, Avanti expects the viewer not only to care about the characters you can barely comprehend never mind like, but believe that this could come to any kind of happy ending. And yet it does in a way and, surprisingly, you even find yourself strangely moved by it all. If there's a lesson in there about endurance having its own rewards, Il Papà di Giovanna demonstrates that very well indeed.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this