Is it possible to describe the dynamics of Mafia organization with great poetry, using the shades of a watercoloured fairy tale?
The a-little-more-than thirty-year-old director Fabio Mollo realized a movie in which silence is the narrator, a contemplative dimension where the characters exist, but barely act. A hidden silence, in which living is almost a matter of inertia. But, although in stasis, the family members who live this story quiver behind the unspoken words – and for this reason, they are even more dominated by their own suggestions. Grazia is a reserved and a little bit surly girl who explores the world in a solitary way, without being noticed, in spite of having many questions in mind, especially about her missing brother Pietro. Cristiano (Vinicio Marchioni), her father, lives on edge in his fishmonger job, keeping his secrets behind his introversion and a kind expression. One night, Grazia glimpses a human figure who she recognizes as her brother, so she decides to look for him. She meets Carmelo, a son of some merry-go-round operators, a companion who will respect her silence finding another way to go with her, pushing her to penetrate her limits to the true contact with herself and what surrounds her.
Watching this movie is like seeing it while you are immersed in the sea, where the colours are shining, the atmosphere is quiet and time is subjected to unexpected expansions and currents. The struggle is against conspiracy of silence, as a collective phenomenon that is so powerful because it is strongly internalized by everyone. When freedom comes it’s powerful, it shocks and brings life back to identity.
Il sud è niente took part in the Rome Film Festival in the section Alice nella città, that gathered the best independent productions. It is a realistic film using magic, the spiritual one to which one arrives on the path to the truth. The path here is symbolized by the sea, a space where conscience runs away, gets lost and, once grown, comes back to the body. As Mollo wrote, “the Strait of Messina, with the two lands that come closer but never touch each other, perfectly describes the idea of immensely little distance – and at the same time insurmountable – dividing the father and her daughter”, and all the other people. “Silence is painful”, he admitted, and it must be broken in order to create a hope of happiness.

Text by Elena Gasparri
Photography by Claudia Pajewski

Fabio Mollo
Il sud è niente

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