Opening 10 Jun 2010
In 1956 Italy was a very different place and director Denis Rabaglia (Azzuro, 2001) paints a romantic picture in soft colours with sunny blue skies over the enchanting imaginary island of Amatrello. An ancient custom throws the youth of the island into competition each time a girl of the village turns eighteen. Whoever gives her father the best present will be allowed to take her on a date. Marcello is not interested until the beautiful Elena returns to the island. As the son of a fisherman he sees little chance of ever being accepted by her father, the mayor, unless he finds a very unusual present. His daring idea requires all of his resourcefulness and wiliness. Whilst his dealing and wheeling turns the entire village upside down, he discovers more than one “skeleton in the cupboard”. The story moves speedily along with ever more entanglements. After all the turbulence stirred up by the desperate and starry-eyed Marcello, he deserves to succeed.
Francesco Mistichelli plays a really cute 18-year-old Marcello with much charm and aplomb. It is his first major film role, as well as for young Elena Cucci as his sweetheart. Among the cast are some well-known Italian actors like Mariano Rigillo, Peppe Lanzetta, Antonio Pennarella, Rosa Masciopinto and others. This Swiss-German co-production, based on Mark David Hatwood’s book Marcello’s Date, received an award as the most successful Swiss film 2009. (Birgit Schrumpf)