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The Stuff of Dreams

by Gianfranco Cabiddu

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“La stoffa dei sogni” tells the vicissitudes of a small acting company who wrecked, together with a group of dangerous members of Camorra, on the shores of an island in the middle of the Mediterranean: not a common island but Asinara, the island-prison. It is the very first postwar period and for the director of the prison it is hard to distinguish the dangerous men of Camorra from the real actors. The Director nurses a strong hatred for theater as his wife abandoned him to chase her dream to be an actress. As a consequence, he exiled himself and his teenager daughter in Asinara, to lead the prison. The Director seems to find his opportunity of revenge: in fact, he will force all the shipwrecked to put on a play able to finally reveal the true and the false, between the actors and the criminals who mingle with the shabby actors in the hope of escaping. On these bases, a real comedy develops, full of turns of events directly insired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and by Eduardo De Filippo’s Art of Comedy. The setting is the beautiful and unspoilt scenery of Asinara island. The core of everything is the universal theater of the world. Thanks to the picaresque story of the company of comedians (suddenly more numerous for the “abusive” of the criminals), the reharsals in the prison, the set-up of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the love between the rebel daughter of the prison director and the son of the Camorra’s boss, the figure of Caliban (only surviving inhabitant of the Island) it unfolds, for similarities, the profound theme of art in human life. It comes to light the deep narrative line that talks about the universal themes of guilt, revenge, redemption and forgiveness.

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