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Inspired by a true story LIKE THE WIND narrates 15 years of Armida Miserere's life, a woman who with determination and grit, but also personal suffering, was one of the first woman to become governor of prison. Armida Miserere, after suffering the loss of her loved one, found herself on the front line in the fight against crime, governing the most dangerous jail in Italy, while struggling to find the truth and to get justice. The film is conceived as long flashback that highlights the most important moments of her life in the attempt to unveil her mystery.Written by
Based on a true story, Come il vento (Like the wind) is the story of Armida Miserere, one of the first women to be a prison governor in Italy, holding the position in some of the most dangerous institutions in the country, In 1990, following threats of bullets sent to her in the mail, her partner Umberto Mormile, an educator working with inmates in the Opera prison, was executed in a mafia hit. Come il vento covers Miserere's efforts to find who was responsible for the killing of her partner and why he was targeted, up until the moment she took her own life in 2003.
Marco Simon Puccioni's film has the potential to be quite harrowing then, but it manages to cover these key points of Armida's life in a fashion that is neither too gritty realist not overly dramatised. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite do anything much more than this; when there is considerable material there to look at her achievements and point out some of the problems with the Italian prison system - and the kind of people locked up there - the little dramatisation thereis is instead focussed on Armida's relationships with other men in her ultimately failed attempts to get over the horror of Umberto's death.
Between Mormile's death in 1990 and Miserere's suicide in 2003, the film does little more than hop around Italy to the various posts where Armida was governor, including Lodi, Parma, Palermo (in Sicily) and Sulmona, where she would take her life in her residence on the prison grounds at the age of 47. There is some attempt made to show the kind of clean-up operations that she organised there as governor in an effort not only to reduce drug use but to also put an end to brutal beatings of prisoners, and there is some indication of the formidable reputation she would gain as a woman governor that would earn her the name of "she-beast", but this aspect is superficial and repetitive.
Obviously, the most dangerous posting for a prison governor would be in Palermo, but you get little sense of the character of the place, with even the confession and conviction of the killers of Giovanni Falcone, the Palmero judge who challenged the mafia, taking place off-screen. The coverage of the eventual trial of Umberto Mormile's killers in the Calabrese mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, also occupies a surprisingly brief episode in the film, and the outcome clearly brings Miserere no peace,. If it lacks a sufficiently dramatic structure and misses opportunities to provide a little more insight into the Italian justice system and the operations of the mafia, Come il vento nonetheless operates well in the context of a love story, showing Armida Miserere's struggling to deal with the brutality of the murder of her lover and struggling to carry on, but ultimately finding herself unable to bear the weight of a great love cut too short.
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