© Prokino (FOX)

Das Geheimnis von Neapel (Naples in Veils, Napoli velata)
Italy 2017

Opening 16 Aug 2018

Directed by: Ferzan Ozpetek
Writing credits: Gianni Romoli, Valia Santella, Ferzan Ozpetek
Principal actors: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessandro Borghi, Anna Bonuaiuto, Loredana Cannata

Adriana (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) meets Andrea (Alessandro Borghi) at a party. Their acquaintanceship leads to a one-night stand in Adriana’s bedroom. The next night Adriana waits in vain for Andrea at the Museum of Archeology. A day later, Adriana recognizes a corpse delivered to the morgue where she works. It’s Andrea, who appears to be the victim of a murder. From here we go into a crime thriller and dig deeper into backgrounds, intentions, and relationships. Gradually, we learn more about Adriana who, as an early orphan, lives in her aunt Adele’s (Anna Bonauiuto) villa. Her parents died under unusual circumstances. Suddenly a look-alike Andrea (Alessandro Borghi) moves in with Adriana. He claims to be Luca, Andrea’s twin brother, and hides whenever the police come by to work on the case. One police detective, Antonio (Biagio Forestieri), is a single father who has a soft spot for Adriana.

Director Ferzan Ozpetek said that he was inspired by a presentation of “figliata,” an ancient ritual in which a man gives birth to a baby. Also the city of Naples with its ancient history and contradictions provided the perfect background, especially the art work such as a statute of Jesus behind a veil. He said that Naples “is a city which never reveals its secrets.” The original English title Naples in Veils indicates hidden possibilities to be revealed in time – or not. The film takes many turns, so that the viewer must concentrate in order to make some sense out of the plot. One bit of confusion is that Andrea is a female name in Germany; the male version is Andreas. Here we have an opportunity to learn more about the Italian film scene. Giovanna Mezzogiorno won best actress at the 1918 Moscow film festival; it premiered in Germany at the 2018 Munich Film Festival.  (Becky Tan)

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