Now in its 13th year, London’s Polish Film Festival, Kinoteka, returns to the capital at a moment when international interest in Polish cinema is particularly high, thanks mainly to the critical and commercial success of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida, which was honoured first at Gdynia Film Festival back in 2013, then at TIFF and elsewhere, before its recent wins at this year’s BAFTA and Academy Award ceremonies.
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Even before Enrico (Toni Servillo) leaves his post, it’s clear he’s going to. As the opposition party leader in Italy, he’s taking the brunt of the plummeting approval ratings heading into the national election, and it’s getting to him.
Just as he approaches the period of the biggest speeches of the year, he disappears. A note left behind explains that he’ll be gone for a few days – no reason is given.
With 90-minutes of runtime, most filmmakers will pick one or two things and try to perfect them. Director Pierfrancesco Diliberto (better known as Pif) orders the whole menu, post-dinner stomachache be damned.
A newly broke mom turns to the world’s oldest profession to repay her deceased husband’s debts in this light-hearted story of a damsel in a tiny black dress.
At 33, the last thing Alice (Paola Cortellesi) thought she’d be doing is moving her nine-year-old son out of their beautiful Roman villa and into the ramshackle “roof pad” of an apartment block in a multiethnic slum. Tasked with recouping thousands in owed debts, she contacts a friend working as an escort (Anna Foglietta) and asks for her help to break into the very lucrative business.
This formally accomplished, heartwarming Italian drama finds a former priest moving into a lighthouse in search of solace after losing his position in the priesthood, only to find his new home attracting the attention of others who have similarly stalled out in life.
Veteran Italian actor Rocco Papaleo writes and directs, and stars as Father Costantino. He’s joined at the lighthouse by his brother-in-law (Riccardo Scamarcio), whose wife has run out on him with an unknown lover, and a prostitute (Barbora Bobulova) who’s just saved enough money to buy herself a new life. More arrive, until the small home is brimming with eccentric characters, lively arguments, and uncovered secrets.