First of a couple of interesting new films that have been released in Italy this week is Hai paura del buio, aka Afraid of the Dark (and also Bruises). It’s another downbeat film, heavily influenced by neo-realism and the miserablist likes of Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, a format which seems extremely popular with Italian filmmakers at the moment (although some other sources descirbe it as a comedy, so who knows!) Director Massimo Coppola is a graduate from documentaries, and there’s a familiar face in the cast in Angela Goodwin, who has been around since the early seventies….
Here’s the review from Mubi:
A visceral and energetic first feature film about a young woman who packs up her flat, leaves her job in Romania, and travels to a small town in Northern Italy to try and locate her mother, who she has not seen in nearly a decade. Like a cuckoo in a nest, the young girl manages to inveigle her way, without much explanation, into the home of a family who have a daughter of a similar age, who works in the local Fiat factory. Gradually the leading character, while tracking down her mother (for a mixture of reunion, recrimination and revenge) starts to become part of her host Italian family’s life; also acting as a carer for the elderly grandmother. Afraid of the Dark (Bruises) is a real attempt to give a slice of – particularly young people’s – life in an unfashionable part of Italy; neither wealthy nor glamorous. With an inventive story and a raw, edgy feel (embellished by bursts of Joy Division on the soundtrack), this is a very promising debut from filmmaker Massimo Coppola, and is produced by Indigo (the group behind all of Paolo Sorrentino’s work): here once again demonstrating a real flair for finding new talent. —Adrian Wootton
It’s being shown on 41 screens, not too bad a showing.
Here’s the trailer: