first snowfall film review

 First Snowfall film review (La Prima Neve)  shown during Cinema made in Italy

first snowfall film review
Giuseppe Battiston talking to on the terrace of the French Institute, London. Photo: Guglielmo Emmolo

First Snowfall film review: The second feature directed by Andre Segre whose previous film Shun Li and the Poet received much acclaim both in Italy and abroad. In his new feature First Snowfall he is again dealing with the immigrant experience in Italy, in the words of one of the main actors Giuseppe Battiston who plays Fabio: “Segre manages the balance act of dealing with issues around immigration without ever crossing the line to racism”.

The film follows Dani (Jean-Christoph Folly) who has just arrived from war torn Libya and during the perilous boat journey his pregnant wife got ill and didn’t survive the birth of her daughter Fatou.
Dani starts working with an older man Pietro (Peter Mitterrutzner) in his wood workshop, and befriending his grandson Michele brilliantly played by Matteo Marchel who had no previous acting experience but was chosen on location in the Mocheno Valley, as they needed an 11 year old who could ride a motorbike, play and instrument and portray this character in mourning.

Dani and Michele shares a joint pain, the loss of a loved one, Michele’s dad died in an avalanche in the mountains, the same mountain that he roams on a motorbike or by foot with his friends and on his own.
The unlikely couple seeks comfort in each other and this helps create the beginning of roots for the otherwise rootless immigrant Dani.

The landscape of the Trentino alps preparing for the approaching winter is the backdrop of the film and contributes to a sense of universality of emotion. Making sense of the meeting with the Other in the shape of the African immigrant who tells of camels and lions. The message seems to be that the pain felt by Dani is the same as the grief that has struck Michele’s mother Elisa, sensitively portrayed by Anita Capriolo, and her son. Dani’s sorrow however is intensified by his sense of displacement in this cold, isolated mountainous area.

This film is not dealing with the racial tension or the Italian immigration politics, but rather gives an insight into one mans trauma; his loss, sense of guilt and inability to feel love for his baby daughter that reminds him of his wife.
The shots of the beautiful alpine nature tries to offer solace which at times feels too saccharine, as the pain felt by the characters in the film is not one that can be healed simply by a beautiful view.

First Snowfall produced by: Jole Film in association with Rai Cinema with support from Trentino Film Commission,  Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (MiBAC) Trentino Marketing, Tasci



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