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Di passaggio (2009)
10/10
Fascinating and Inspirational Film
10 April 2010
Di Passaggio is a special film. It chronicles the journey of a diverse set of individuals as they spend time studying in Italy, and end up learning about themselves at the same time. Even though it is a documentary, and was shot on location in Italy, the film vividly renders each character. The narrative is incredibly strong, and the film is one of the most interesting and engaging documentaries I've seen. The title, Italian for "Of Passage," is very appropriate; by the end of the film you feel as though you have been on a journey along with the students.

Perhaps the film's most valuable element, however, is its serious introspective examination of the tragic events in Director James Kicklighter's past, and the ultimately very constructive ways he moved forward (including making this film). The film's handling of these issues is moving and gracefully done. The dramatic tension which arises from the juxtaposition of the study abroad experience and the life-changing experiences of the director is wonderfully maintained throughout, and moves the film beyond the ordinary into a truly exceptional experience. I highly recommend it as a remarkable cinematic adventure. Director James Kicklighter's reputation as a rising star is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing more of his films to come.
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