I baci mai dati, Lost Kisses

by Marianne Wi

Director : Roberta Torre is a great Italian female writer and director, who although Milanese by birth has adopted Sicily for many of her films. You will know her from Sud Side Story, South Side Story 2000 –  Angela 2002 –  Mare Nero, The Dark Sea 2006 all of which have seen great success at International Film Festivals. I baci mai dati, Lost Kisses is set in Librino, a poor crime ridden build up area of Catania, Sicily. It was originally named Miracoli a Catania, Miracles in Catania perhaps being re-named due to the double edge ending, it is a film about Saints or is it about Sinners, Torre leave it up to you to decide. The film was at the Venice Film Festival 2010 and is already doing very well at International Festivals, will the Sicilians take to it? I think not.

Cast : Piera Degli Esposti, Donatella Finocchino, Beppe Fiorello, Cala Marchese, Pino Micol, Valentina Giordanella, Martina Galletta, Alessio Vassallo, Tony Palazzo, Gabriella Saitta, Lucia Sardo

Synobsis : Manuela (Carla Marchese) is a 13 year old teenager living with her mother Rita (Donnatella Finocchino) and her drug taking/dealing sister (Valentina Giordanella) together with her on/off  father (Beppe Fiorello) who has left the family home after a heated debate about lack of food and money, making this a strong female household. Librino, very much an ordernary crime ridden spot, depressing and with little going for it untill the day a larger than life statue is delivered of the Madonna. While some teenagers are playing football in front of the Madonna they score a goal by hitting her head with the ball, bringing it crashing to the ground, they quickly hide the evidence in an old lock-up.

Manuela has a dream during a hot Sicilian night, where the Madonna speaks to her concerning her missing head and its whereabouts. Manuela becomes the talk of the town, and her mother and the priest are quick off the mark, setting up business, big business. Where there’s a Madonna crying, laughing or simply speaking to teenagers, there are big bucks to be made in Italy. Manuela sees her life change from cleaning in a surreal hair salon to full-time employment working shifts listening to people’s problems, grievances and their wish lists, one lady speaking on behalf of her boyfriend “I wish the Madonna would find a job for my boyfriend in a supermarket, doing the shift from 3 pm to 8pm ” Manuela is making big bucks for her mother and the church by heading the “Factory of Hope” team. The scene where the priest sorts though her wardrobe is hilarious turning this colourful teenager into a drap Saint, untill one day…….. Torre has left the ending up to the viewer, you belive or you don’t the ending will be based on your religious beliefs.


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