Francesca Comencini portrays a “rotten” Italy
by Anna Maria Pasetti
“This country is also our home,” says Valeria Golino indignantly, in the role of a Revenue Corps officer, against those ruining Italy by abusing both money and power. The confrontation arising from a true conflict between good and evil lies at the heart of the ninth feature film by Francesca Comencini who tackles the circulation of money as the basis of human relationships in A casa nostra [+see also:
film profile] (lit. “At Our House”),.
The setting is a “gas chamber” Milan, dehumanised by the rules of economy and finance, a concentration camp of all that which escapes the god of money.
A casa nostra is an ensemble film whose characters cross in painful territory. “I felt the need to make a film on this ‘contaminated’ country, which has changed so much in recent years that it has become a shadow of itself”, the director told the press, which was decidedly divided on the film. “Before taking sides, I want to understand in depth the new dynamics regulating Italy, especially its relationship with money. And Milan, which is rarely depicted in today’s films, is its corollary, being ‘the manifesto’ of a generation from whom ‘elegance is everything”.
However, A casa nostra is also a film on women: “The more money becomes power, the more women are despised, and don’t even respect each other,” said the director, who with Mobbing [+see also:
film profile] (2003, Berlin Film Festival) had already dealt with professional discrimination against women.
“I think our era is raising adolescents who are less free than we were in the 1970s, and this is an involution. In this sense, I am very pessimistic”. Each character in the film is unhappy with his or her life: from a model to a pensioner, from prostitutes to a Revenue Corp captain, from a rich housewife to her husband, a cynical banker involved in insider trading who, to satisfy his sterile wife, even buys the foetus of a prostitute in an irreversible coma.
(Translated from Italian)