Sicilian family saga
OPENS AUGUST 8, CERT 12A, 90 MINS
Emanuele Crialese’s languid study of life on a remote fishing village on the sun-scorched island of Lampuseda, off the coast of Sicily, revolves around Pietro, a fisherman, Grazia, his emotionally troubled wife (Valeria Golino of Indian Runner, Frida and Rain Man fame) and their rough-housing but sensitive son Pasquale. The story, by writer-director Crialese, retells an old Lampuseda myth?that of a woman driven to desperate ends by local villagers. Suffice to say, the film operates as a slow-burning fable. With many scenes of men fishing out on boats, their sons helping out on shore and women packing fish in a cannery, comparisons with Visconti’s 1948 neo-realist fishing village classic La Terra Trema are inevitable. But, in truth, Respiro has more in common with Antonioni’s L’Avventura?there’s the same measured pacing, the same cascade of stunning images. At the heart of this striking, sumptuous film, though, is Golino’s mesmerising performance as a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown.