Found on Youtube as I was searching for something else, this 15 minute short caught my eye. For those that know me, know that I am passionate about language and had never come across a film shot in the language of Naples (Italy) before. I cannot call it Neapolitan, as that simply makes it a dialect of Italian when in fact it is so far removed from Italian that it really ought to be classified as a language in its own right. Titled 'L'Ultima Partenza' in Italian it is known as 'The Final Departure' in English.
After watching this film (mercifully with subtitles), I was left with more questions about the film that it cared to answer - perhaps a very deliberate idea on the part of director Chiara Minopoli. With very little actiuon and a very moody and deliberately slow pace, we glean much about emotion and motive from simple gestures, looks or even where and on what object the camera chooses to focus.
It is afternoon, and we see a middle-aged lady and her more sagacious mother taking washing from a line overlooking the ocean. The lady is hiding something, something she desperately wants to tell someone, but the emotion is too strong and it is still locked away. Her mother senses there is much she isn't telling or prepared to tell. We cut to a young girl, perhaps 7 years old, the lady's daughter, who is playing in the water with a young boy, Vittorio. We learn that the father is not around (divorced, separated, dead, we don't know), and we learn that the lady and Francesca (the 7 year old) will be leaving very soon. Vittorio and his family leave without saying goodbye and Francesa is sad. She searches the beach where he lost a necklace and she finds it, picks it up ansd wears it. When her mother sees her wearing it we learn that it is the necklace her husband wore and she hugs her daughter and starts to cry.
It is a film of strained relationships, of missed opportunities perhaps, and perhaps also a watchcry to all those out there who are bottling emotion up to release it and break free. There is so little dialogue and so much inaction that you are expecting some huge 'bang' of sorts before the film finishes, but the director / writer denies us this, and we are left afterwards to simply think about what this film might mean.
The grandma is played with unflinching sternness, but with a heart by Concetta Marracoli, with the mother played rather resignedly but with sincerityand emotion by Laura Schettino. The young girl, Francesca was Chiara De Vita with Vittorio played by Giangaetano Renna.
An interesting diversion, but perhaps it would be more comprehensible if one understood some background to this scene.
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