Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Una via a Palermo (2013)

Two women, Rosa (Emma Dante) and Clara (Alba Rohrwachter) are in Palermo for a wedding. Their relationship is having difficulties and there are irritations.
They turn into a wrong road and end up in a very narrow street, with another car approaching them.
In the other car is a family that lives close by and grandmother Samira (Elena Cotta) is driving.

Both cars end up being stuck, as neither car can move forwards. Both women are determined not to be the one who reverses and both are prepared to sit in the car for hours, waiting for the other one to give up.
The family and even the whole neighbourhood gets involved, but both women refuse to give up.
The situation will be resolved the next morning, but the outcome is unexpected.

The battle between Rosa and Samira is almost a spaghetti western, and it is filmed in such a manner. They do not have guns, but they do have a bowl of pasta they throw into the hedge to show they do not need food to endure.

Everyone, Rosa and Samira, but also the family and the others has a part in the battle that is continuing and each person has a reason to make it last as long as possible. But who is really in charge, is it Samira’s rude and tyrannical son-in-law or it is the frail Samira herself?

It is not just a battle between two women or two cars, it is also a clash between rich and poor, north and south. Clara and Rosa are a lesbian couple, artistic and from Rome, where Samira’s very large family is poor and not very well educated.

Rosa (Emma Dante)
Una via a Palermo (a street in Palermo) is filmed beautifully, with changing perspectives. Sometimes you see the scene from the viewpoint of Samira or Rosa, sometimes you watch through the blinds as if you are a neighbor peeking to see what is happening outside.

The cars are stuck within fifteen minutes of the movie, and not much else happens after that, it is all about the small things. The endscène is beautiful, for ten minutes you see the whole village passing by, running after Samira’s car. We know what happened, but how they deal with it, we do not know.

Elena Cotta impresses as Samira. She does not say a word during the whole movie, only in the last scenes. But I think that was also to show what happened in the end. At last, I suspected something at that moment.

Samira (Elena Cotta)
I loved the wink she gave Rosa, somewhere at the beginning. Is it a sign to tell the other woman they will work it out or perhaps a reference to what is to come? We do not know and it is not explained. I do not mind these things, I like it when not everything is explained and explicit. But other people might find something like that irritating.

Una via a Palermo is not a long film, about 90 minutes. If you like fast scenes and a lot of action, this is not the film for you.
If you like subtle and often black humor, stilled moments and long scenes without dialogue where everything is told by the way it is filmed, then this is a film you will enjoy.

Final scene
I absolutely loved it and I enjoyed myself with it. I am very glad that this movie was under the Christmas tree for me.

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