Controcorrente - L'anima gemella
by Stefano Stefanutto Rosa
- Torrid, passionate, luminous, agressive, cold and vulgar. It's the southern Italian town that Sergio Rubini portrays in his new feature
It is not one single place, but rather a blend of many places that exist in southern Italy described by Sergio Rubini in his feature L’anima gemella. There’s the south that has endured the advent of modern industries. That brought social equality while tearing the geography and natural beauty of the land apart and Rubini illustrates this most eloquently with his images of a fish processing factory. Then there’s the south that our grandfathers remember, a place of special dishes, small and modest dwellings, deep-rooted religious and pagan beliefs. The south that is personified by Angelantonio, a lying cheat of a barber and his soothsayer mother., both of whom “lives by their wits”.
The relationship I have with my native land of Puglia is confusing. I left home at 18 to study acting at the Academy in Rome. I had to forget my dialect and my origins,” explains Rubini. “Later on I began a slow journey back, one that ended when I made the film before this one, Tutto l’amore che c’è. I made that film on the terrace of my mother’s home. I could never go back to live in Puglia, but Puglia will always be a part of my life.”
Rubini presents us with an exaggerated Southern Italy; it’s almost as if he wants to rewrite reality. “This is a disorganised film, rude and so typical of all things southern. The characters are all passionate and their moods are as variable as the direction of the wind. I thought that a coastal setting would be best. It wasn’t an easy story to write because it is surreal and complex. I experienced moments of total panic: I was terrified of making a mistake because I thought the story wasn’t strong enough, so I kept rewriting and rebuilding it.”
It is in this turbulent setting that Teresa, Maddalena and Tonino exist. Maddalena (Violante Placido) and Tonino are in love. Her cousin Maddalena (Valentina Cervi) is an ugly and jealous girl who does everything in her power – and also in the power of the local soothsayer – to win Tonino’s heart. Each of these three characters ends up discovering who they really are, but not before some really tortuous events.
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