Magazine article Screen International

'Crater': Tokyo Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Crater': Tokyo Review

Article excerpt

A poignant slice of neo-realism by Italian documentarians turned debut feature helmers Silvia Luzi and Luca Bellino.


Dir/scr. Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino. Italy. 2017. 93 mins

The bleakness of reality is nothing to sing about in Crater, but it does furnish a poignant slice of neo-realism by Italian documentarians turned debut feature helmers Silvia Luzi and Luca Bellino. Carrying their factual backgrounds into fiction, the writing, directing, producing, shooting and editing duo craft an intimate drama out of an the real-life experiences of a father and daughter.

Rosario and Sharon attack the task of finding a space between fact and fiction with ease

After establishing their documentary credentials with 2008’s The Threat and 2012’s On the Art of War, there’s no doubting that Luzi and Bellino’s observant eyes remain Crater’s trump card, particularly in capturing the impressive performances of its non-professional, first-time leads, and in the filmmaker’s fondness for close-up-heavy camerawork. Their immersive, authentic efforts, and the festival attention garnered by their previous work, should go a long way towards helping the film secure further berths on the international circuit after its premiere in Venice Critics Week and special jury prize in Tokyo’s main competition.

With a basic premise reminiscent of other chasing-a-dream fare, including 2016’s fellow Italian title Indivisible (albeit with one aspiring singer, rather than a conjoined pair), Crater charts a Neapolitan family certain that music stardom is the means to a better life. Carnivals provide the stern Rosario (Rosario Caroccia) with a way of making ends meet, but he harbours grand plans for his attractive 13-year-old daughter Sharon (Sharon Caroccia). Already employing her vocal prowess to draw attention to his fairground stall, he sets about turning that talent into a folk music career - complete with a gruelling schedule of auditions and recording sessions, and just as demanding expectations of his potential star-in-the-making.

It should come as no surprise that the chasm between Rosario’s ambition-fuelled wishes and Sharon’s own desires for her future is vast, or that the seeds of rebellion start to blossom as the teenager becomes increasingly discontent with her situation. …

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