The Italian (Italianetz) (Russia) (2005)

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The Italian (Italianetz) (Russia) (2005)

Postby hengcs » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:44 pm

Director: Andrei Kravchuk
Cast: Kolya Spiridonov

This film was submitted by Russia for Oscar 2006.
It also garnered the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix and Glass Bear - Special Mention at Berlin International Film Festival 2005

A boy who is about to be adopted by an Italian couple decides to leave the orphanage in search of his mother. Will he find her?!

My thoughts

-- Without givng the ending away, it is one of the more often talked about scene in the film ...

-- I also feel that the director and script writer do spend some thoughts in crafting the various events and their depiction of the orphanage ... there is a cautious attempt to portray both the good and bad of human beings, the institution and the society at large ...

-- Here is something from me ...
... in the COLD winter of Russia, do we experience the WARMTH of humanity?!
... in the HOPE brought forth by adoption, do we sense some DESPAIR in exploitation?!
... in an attempt to HELP, do we often HARM?!
... as we pursue our DREAM, what does REALITY speak?!
... as we follow our HEART, do we care much about REASON?!
... and if the PAST was a mistake, can we make the FUTURE better?

Recommended. ... Superficially, it is just a heart warming story about an orphan who seeks to find his mother despite his upcoming adoption by an Italian couple ... However, if we are willing to probe further, the story hints at commentary about the society. As a whole, it parallels the desire of Russians seeking their "mother" land ...

Re: The Italian (Italianetz) (Russia) (2005)

Postby justindeimen » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:14 pm


In 6 year-old Vanyas (Kolya Spiridonov) Russia, children are considered lucky just to know the names of their parents. As the intrepid runaway in Andrei Kravchuk's bittersweet drama The Italian, Vanya marches to the beat of his own brass band. The death of a young mother looking for a son she abandoned years ago at Vanyas dilapidated orphan-emporium is the catalyst for a road trip on his lonesome to look for a mother hes never known. Director Kravchuk consciously weaves urgent post-Soviet rhetoric and themes of individual identity owing to Ann Holms WWII novella, I Am David, into a watered down borsch of dramatic and emotional compromise. The film is both comic and tragic, and in a consistently plaintive world of insights and allusions that considers the very serious proposition of child trafficking and Russias underclass.

Eluding both the spiritual richness of I Am David and the childlike perspectives of Viva Cuba, Kravchuk gazes upon his subject with a measure of detached sensitivity and depressive realism that never coddles its precocious and cherubic lead, avoiding the ingratiating manner of a Roberto Benigni film. But it also never truly invests much in him by way of personal danger and coats his eventual struggle with an almost divine sense of security. By engaging in a subject matter as heinous as the economy of young lives and then bogging it down with familiar levity, it never acknowledges the film for what it is and perhaps what it could have been.

Vanyas nondescript background becomes a synthesis of the disturbingly harsh portrait of ingrained subsistence that Vanya and his cadre of car washers, thieves, prostitutes and various other guttersnipes who live and work; pulling their earnings into a coffer for the good of their collective and keeping the spirit of socialism alive. They situate themselves in and around the commune surrounding the orphanage run by the pragmatic and cynical Madam (Maria Kuznetsova) and the effete but sympathetic louse of a headmaster (Yuri Itskov). Intriguingly, the final half of the film as its inevitable road trip begins segues Vanya as an affront to the fatalism that infects the rest of Russias vastly underprivileged youth as he proves himself to be more resilient and self-sufficient.

Kravchuk find a way to the heart en route to the mind. He envelops an air of protective affection for his characters, including those who hinder our enterprising young heros quest for maternal solicitude, an instinct made memorable by the films assertion that a nurturing Russia can be cultivated by putting the onus of that responsibility on the countrys women. For all its discursiveness, its final shot obliterates the acquired bleakness and severity of the film and leaves us in its afterglow of hope and grace.

Re: The Italian (Italianetz) (Russia) (2005)

Postby hengcs » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:04 am

Another insightful review

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