Beautiful People finally in theatres
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Almost six years on from its screening at the Turin Film Festival, Istituto Luce is distributing the second feature film by Ivano De Matteo, who has meanwhile made Gli equilibristi and The Dinner
It was screened at the Turin Film Festival in 2009 (see review), distributed successfully in France and won awards at a number of festivals (Annecy, Villerupt, Grenoble, Bastia), yet Beautiful People [+see also:
film profile] was never released in Italy. Finally bringing the second feature film of Ivano De Matteo into theatres, after years in an impasse of disagreements over distribution, is the Istituto Luce Cinecittà, which will release 30 copies of the film on Thursday 27 August. “This is a good thing not only for me, but for Italian film as a whole”, said the director yesterday at a press conference in Rome, “because films produced using taxpayers’ money (the film received the financial backing of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, ndr) should also be distributed”.
Six years may have gone by, but Beautiful People is no less topical today than it was then. The ruthless portrait of the hypocrisy of an educated middle class which first reaches out to those in need (in this case, a young Ukranian prostitute) and then, when it feels that its own interests are threatened, slams the door in their faces without hesitation, the film is above all about human weakness. “If we were writing today we would have written it the same way”, said De Matteo, who has since made Gli equilibristi [+see also:
film profile] and The Dinner [+see also:
interview: Ivano De Matteo
film profile], which were also co-written by Valentina Ferlan. “It’s not so much about whether you are able to welcome a person into your home, but whether you are able to let them stay”, observed the director. “The truth is that when the person we have helped starts doing alright, they also start to annoy us”.
“We all want to do good, but to what extent are we able to?”, said Monica Guerritore, echoing the director’s comments. The highly talented actress stars in the film alongside Antonio Catania, Iaia Forte, Giorgio Gobbi, Victoria Larchenko, Myriam Catania and Elio Germano. Ivano De Matteo’s films never fail to ask important questions (The Dinner, for example – see review), and this one, in a time of migration flows run wild, offers a precious point of reflection on the present day.
(Translated from Italian)