In this bold debut, popular Italian TV satirist Pierfrancesco Diliberto mixes rights-of-passage comedy with a fearless send-up of the historic underworld murders that have devastated his native Sicily.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
The winner of the 2014 European Film Award for Best European Comedy, this Italian box office hit follows the growing pains of Arturo, a Palermo boy whose life, from conception onwards, is impacted in dramatic ways by the operations of the Mafia. For a romantic comedy, it delivers a disconcertingly effective protest at Cosa Nostra domination of Sicilian life – by portraying historic Mafia violence as idiotic. It’s a bold big-screen debut for actor/director Pierfrancesco ‘Pif’ Diliberto, a satirical current affairs broadcaster whose Italian TV profile is broadly comparable to Jon Stewart’s in the US.
“Diliberto’s film, a buoyant farce, chronicles two decades in the history of Palermo and the Cosa Nostra, lampooning the atrocities and hypocrisies of the Mob… Cleverly splicing himself into archival news footage and dramatizing a romance around the historical action, Diliberto has managed to make a political comedy that seems at once tremendously funny and intensely serious.” — Calum Marsh, Village Voice
“Pierfrancesco Diliberto does a remarkable job negotiating the delicate balance between humor and heartrending emotion in his terrific feature debut… There are moments when audiences will wonder if laughing about gangland whackings isn’t in bad taste, yet it becomes increasingly clear that the director-scripter is using humor to cut Mafia bosses down to size, thereby turning an accusatory glare at an Italy that granted these people power.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety