Gorbaciof, Gorbacov

by Marianne Wi

Stefano Incerti’s latest film Gorbaciof was released in Italy last week, to mixed reviews. It was in competition at this years Film Festival in Venice and has had its international premier in Toronto.

Cast: Toni Servillo, Mi Yang, Geppy Geijeses, Gaetano Bruno, Hal Yamanouchi

Best moment: Bedroom scene, sweet kiss on Gorbaciof’s nose by Lila.

Useful information: Gorbaciof is a nick name given to Pacileo, he has a birth mark as did Mihail Gorbacov on his forehead.

Synopsis: Gorbaciof (Toni Servillo) is a cashier at the Poggioreale prison in Naples,who help himself to cash to support his gambling habit. The film moves from his work, to his home, to a Chinese restaurant with a back-room gambling table run by a judge, back and forth through the film. There is little to no speech , not a word for the first 10 minutes and often an unusual use of sound effects. The film is a one-man show, all about Gorbaciof who is played brilliantly by Toni Servillo, who portrays the character perfectly, given that he has few lines this is a great tribute to his acting skills. Gorbaciof’s relationship with the beautiful Lila ( Mi Yang) is touching , and develops slowly building into a sweet romance between two people who have no common language , Lila is a Chinese immigrant who does not speak Italian. There are some great scenes shot with a tiger at the local zoo and an innocent game played with a trolley at Naples airport.

I was confused by the endless line of people handing over large amounts of cash in the jail as it was done in silence and there were no sign of paying-in-slips, what were they paying for? I am not familiar with Italian prison etiquette however it has been explained to me that it is bribes paid by relatives to ease the jail term being served by their loved ones.

The film is carried by the extraordinary talent of Toni Servillo and is likely to do well at International Film Festivals, he is well-known outside Italy for his roles in Gomorrah, Il Divo and The Consequences of Love.


One Comment to “Gorbaciof, Gorbacov”

  1. I too was confused about the money being paid in, thank you for clearing that.up.

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