Directed by Mario Martone
Italian director Mario Martone drew inspiration from a commune of artist-radicals that took up residence on the sun-kissed southern isle in the early 20th century. Picture a cult-like group of young people prancing naked on the rocks overlooking the Mediterranean and you have an idea of the unexpected sight that greets a goatherd named Lucia as she rounds up a stray on the far side of a hill in Capri-Revolution.
Despite warnings from the locals that the foreigners are devils, Lucia refuses to be scared off by the free-spirited artists from northern Europe that have taken up residence on the Capri cliffs. Soon she’s shedding her clothes and joining in the frolic. Through this passionate, curious central character, Martone and his co-screenwriter wife, Ippolita Di Majo, explore the ways in which an illiterate peasant girl from an old-fashioned family is opened up to the possibilities of another kind of life.
Seybu, a bearded Jesus type, leads the group in explorations of music, dance, art and sexual freedom to nourish the spirit. He becomes something of a mentor to Lucia, giving her the courage to dismiss her overbearing brothers’ attempts to marry her off to an older widowed merchant. In one of the film’s more surprising scenes, Seybu takes her to his private “temple” in a cave, anointing her in a ritual that prompts her to imagine herself levitating high above the island.
There’s a lot happening at any given time — electricity comes to the island, Lucia’s brothers go off to war, self-exiled Russians talk of revolution. But in place of narrative momentum, we get ideological discussions amongst Seybu’s circle, matched by the contrasting views of the young town medic, Carlo, a man of science and matter.
NOTE: The film is in Italian with ENGLISH subtitles.
After the viewing there will be a discussion of the film.
Official trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmR_RhbrEZE