30 April 2012 | celluvoid
Welcome to the South
Welcome to the South The final installment of the Metro-Detroit Italian Film Festival (2012) featured director Luca Minero's Benvenuti al sud, Welcome to the South (2011). The venue of Royal Oak's new Emagine Theatre was filled to capacity and resulted in the always unfortunate scenario of turning away hundreds of would be patrons. The film begins with Alberto Colombo (Claudio Bisso) as a civil servant of the Italian-Postale. Alberto has been passed up for promotion to a coveted Milan position and following a comical yet ill-fated attempt to secure another such opening is assigned to two years postale purgatory in Italy's southern region. Alberto's wife Silvia (Angela Finocchiaro) chooses to remain in the civilized north while Alberto is subjected to his penance. The ensuing journey is a farcical romp through social stereotypes and false assumptions which leads Alberto to re-evaluate his own system of beliefs. Steeped in Italian cinemas rich history of neo-realism and romanticism it seems that amore' is the parallel undercurrent to the film. Love reigns supreme beneath the comical veneer, as southern mama's boy Mattia Volpe (Alessandro Siani) garners courage to express his affections for local bellissima Maria (Valentina Lodovini). Alberto and Silvia teeter on the brink of their faltering relationship and her brave trip to the south will either break them or change them forever. A wonderful introspective on pre-conceived notions that prove false wrong when people understand one another combined with breathtaking scenery of Italy's southern coastal regions make this a film for all the world to enjoy. The sequel Welcome to the North (2012) should prove to be equally entertaining as the noteworthy cast of Alberto's friends invade the northern regions. Caio!