20° ShorTSIFF – Diary of 1 july 2019

What a strange and engaging summer we’re having, from the sorrow for the health conditions of the great writer Andrea Camilleri to the rightful pride for the determination of the Women’s National Soccer Team.
We are closing another decade, confusion as always is sky-high, and according to the writer it is precisely in these moments that art displays its saving and wondrous qualities, helping everyone on a moral level.
Piazza Verdi is now our home, a place of choice where we meet and debate each other, returning home more enriched.
It starts well, very well indeed, with the poignant story of two spouses of sugar, that is, those on top of the wedding cake. In the romantic and timeless fantasy of the director Laura Luchetti, these objects are alive and thriving, they suffer like us humans, even when crumpled and thrown away they do not give up their sentimental dream. Beautiful and unique, the work is titled SUGAR LOVE, and to the director present in the audience we offered our applause.
We are still in the realm of the fairy tale, the quilted story of stars that clashes with the violent reality, when we see THE ANNOUNCEMENT from directors Roman and Thibault Lafargue. The theme is the reliability of Santa Clause: his existence is questioned, with unpublished final implications.
NOW WE CAN DIE IN PEACE, a paradoxical urban-football satire, is a sketch conducted very well by the versatile director Arnaud Guetz, who also takes care of photography and the distribution of his work.
From the suburban landscapes we pass then to the sunny, scorching desert plains, Arabia or its surroundings, where helpless children are involved in wild camel races. The little protagonist of THE CAMEL BOY stands out for his sweetness and sensitivity, in this sharp short about social denunciation directed by the French Chabonne Zariab.
SAVOR, on the other hand, boasts of truly amazing protagonists: salty and sweet sauces, centrifuges of vegetables and fruit, every sort of culinary and gastronomic ingredient is shaken in a crazy dance. Stèphane Baz directs, with congratulations to his authorial audacity …
MY TYSON, by Claudio Casale, is a documentary dedicated to a young pupil in Italian boxing, whose human and professional evolution is narrated from the mother’s mouth, a very sweet affair.
OUR SONG TO WAR does not offer up moral or rhetorical discounts with a sweeter taste: war is a terrible scourge, and those who pass through it come out transformed, and not for the better. In spite of everything, the film also speaks of mysticism and ancestral rites, in a climate similar to “FITZCARRALDO” by Werner Herzog.
HOW STEEL WAS TEMPERED provides an environment of hard manual work for a father, a child; according to Croatian author Igor Grubic, life is not a Doris Day film, as was the title of a comedy by Mino Bellei.
RAYMOND OR THE VERTICAL ESCAPE by Sarah Van den Boom has a red hot climax but don’t worry; the protagonists are turkeys, chickens and other animated countryside subjects.
Dramatic finale with L’OMBRA DELLA SPOSA: again, it is war and its horrendous burdens, well told by the Italian director Alessandra Pescetta.
A fiery red sky at midnight is still burning, and wishing for a cold drink we hope to see you on Monday evening.
Riccardo Visitin
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