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Tribeca '10 Interview: Ferzan Ozpetek

by Simon Abrams

Italian auteur Ferzan Ozpetek may not be as famous as Federico Fellini or even Giuseppe Tornatore, but he is still a talented and prolific filmmaker whose oeuvre may be the most consistently imported body of contemporary Italian work here in America. Since 1997, he has had five features released theatrically stateside, an especially remarkable feat considering that he's both openly gay and his films focus on gay protagonists—a subject at odds with the characteristically conservative politics of popular Italian cinema.

Most of Ozpetek's melodramas tackle the issue of a younger generation unable to be themselves amongst their family or friends until it's too late for them to be together. Similar to the central domestic concern of homebody-minded "New Italian" films, for instance, both His Secret Life and Facing Windows concern the acceptance of one's own true identity and, subsequently, forging a strong community. With the help of a translator,

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