Coming to PBS’s POV tonight, Monday, August 12:
Hot Docs, IDFA, Docs Against Gravity, Zurich, DocPoint, ZagrebDox, Vilnius, Istanbul, Visions du Reel, Docaviv, AFI Docs, Edinburgh, Bergen, Antenna
A revealing look at the economic crisis through the goings on at an Italian beach.
Set during a summer in Palermo, Giovanni Totaro’s largely observational film focuses on the vacationers on Mondello Beach. These Italian sun worshippers set up more than 1000 small cabins, personalizing them with decorations to create a home away from home, and, for many, to escape from the challenges of their real lives. Though suffering economic hardship due to the crisis of the past decade, families insist on keeping up appearances, while other beach denizens, like a man selling refreshments, struggles to earn as much money as he can before the end of the season. Perhaps most pointedly revealing these barely below-the-surface anxieties is the increasingly obvious campaigning of a would-be politician as he taps into xenophobia to rally support among his fellow beachgoers. The result is a disarming study in microcosm of modern day Italian society.