Magazine article New Internationalist

Respiro Written and Directed by Emanuale Crialese

Magazine article New Internationalist

Respiro Written and Directed by Emanuale Crialese

Article excerpt

Don't get the wrong impression - a beautiful-looking film with a highly photogenic cast, set on a sun-drenched Mediterranean island with stunning cliffs overlooking crystal-clear water. Respiro does look good, but Lampedusa, off Sicily, is more than a setting and is rarely pretty. Colour is bleached away by sunlight, dust and salt. Local kids hunt birds and crabs and barbecue them in the abandoned concrete shells of buildings their gangs hang around in. The boys fight - viciously. Respiro is about life in a coastal community that still depends on fishing to survive. It's specifically about a young family - and community expectations of how women should behave.

Grazia is the mother of three children and wife of Pietro. He's very loving, honourable - and conventional, often bewildered by Grazia's spontaneity and sense of fun. …

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