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Le meraviglie

In Gelsomina's isolated family, life revolves around keeping bees and making honey. But when Gelsomina turns thirteen and a local television show hits town, things begin to change.

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It begins and ends with empty walls somewhere in the flat, dusty countryside of middle Italy. A family consisting of Wolfgang the honey farmer, Angelica the mother, Cocó from France, the 13 year old Gelsomina and her two small sisters used to live there. Gelsomina’s family revolve their life around bees and honey. They determine the rhythm of their lives and the films’ which could be naturalistic – it could have really happened that way – yet seems somehow surreal. The bee’s buzzing, the careful hand movements with the bees, the protective suits, and the viscosity of the fluids are all components of a particular world. The father’s “did you change the bucket?” continuously echoes like church bells throughout the film. The bucket that catches the honey from the centrifuge not being changed on time is the biggest possible catastrophe imaginable in Gelsomina’s world. At least that’s what it was like before the outside world in the form of EU hygiene regulations and the local television show “Il paese delle meravigle” (Land of Wonder) reaches the small town. Producers of regional products compete in fantastical Etruscan garb in front of judges and a moderator goddess played by Monica Belucci. Gelsomina convinces her family to take part. The fact that the show in the colorful necropolis manages to be simultaneously shabby, cheap, fake, and undignified while also being magical and touching is a cinematic wonder and probably the reason why the idiosyncratic film won the big prize at Cannes.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Le meraviglie
Deutschland/Italien/Schweiz 2014, 110 min
Language: Italian, German, French
Genre: Drama
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Author: Alice Rohrwacher
DOP: Hélène Louvart
Montage: Marco Spoletini
Distributor: Delphi Filmverleih
Cast: Monica Bellucci, Sabine Timoteo, André Hennicke, Sam Louwyck, Alba Rohrwacher, Margarete Tiesel
FSK: oA
Release: 02.10.2014

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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