VENTO DI TERRA (WIND from the land) (Vincenzo Marra). 82 minutes. Subtitled. Runs Friday-Saturday and Tuesday (June 24-25 and 28) at Cinematheque, then opens in other theatres July 1. For times, see Indie & Rep Film, page 116. Rating: N
It's said that acting is what happens between the lines, and it's true - meaningful silences can hit you harder than the wittiest repartee. But too much silence and the movie's no longer meaningful. It's incomprehensible.
Vincenzo ( Vincenzo Pacilli ), the hero of the Italian film Vento Di Terra , has the worst luck in the world. His father is ill, his sister is unemployed, his mother slaves away as a seamstress. Just as he breaks up with his girlfriend to spend more time with his family, his father dies. He joins a UN peacekeeping force, but can't save his mother's apartment from repossession. When his sister gets a job, her boss hits on her.
Although terrible, these events are unconnected by anything resembling a plot or even dialogue. It's as though God were arbitrarily smiting Vincenzo every few minutes.
He joins the army without any explanation. In fact, he barely speaks at all. An hour into this we finally get a time-and-place signifier when the ominous words "Kosovo 1999" appear onscreen, but by then the film is almost over and it's hard to care any more, even though the worst is yet to come.
Writer/director Vincenzo Marra has created a believably depressing story, but while depression's a bitch to go through, from the outside it's pretty dull.