Magazine article Screen International

'The Worldly Girl': Busan Review

Magazine article Screen International

'The Worldly Girl': Busan Review

Article excerpt

Dir: Marco Danieli, Italy. 2016.

A young woman who has been raised within the nurturing but restrictive community of Jehovah's Witnesses comes to realise that her own fulfilment and that of her religious duties are incompatible.

This confident first feature from Marco Danieli is the latest picture to mine the rich subgenre of the coming-of-age film which pits personal growth against spiritual growth - Alice Rohrwacher's Corpo Celeste is another recent example. Worldly Girl works on a more direct level, powered by strong performances and a palpable sexual tension between the two highly photogenic leads.

Already part of its way through a festival run prior to a theatrical release in Italy in November, Worldly Girl premiered at Venice Days where it won the Brian Award and the stars, Sara Serraiocco and Michele Riondino, both won Pasinetti Awards for best actress and best actor respectively. This is a quality package which, given a few more wins on the festival circuit, may develop sufficient momentum to break out of the festival niche and connect with an arthouse theatrical audience.

Giulia (Serraiocco, best known for her performance as a blind woman in Salvo) inhabits a closed world which is fortified by the rules that come with her membership of the church of the Jehovah's Witnesses. "My father says rules are like a cage for a diver among sharks," she explains to Libero (Riondino), the ex-con son of a recent convert. Libero smiles at her obvious discomfort, clearly identifying with the shark. …

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