An expertly directed social realist drama that powerfully encapsulates the toll that the economic downturn is taking on Italy through the story of a woman, Eli, as her day-to-day life becomes a microcosm of the issues of the country at large.
Eli (Isabella Ragonese, La nostra vita Opening Night LIFF10) is a kind, effervescent and loving mother to her children and is deeply in love with her husband. He is out of work, but she manages to find a job in a cafe, except it’s two hours away from her home and the hours are long. Without another option, she embraces the opportunity, dutifully getting up before dawn, and excelling at her work, a fast favourite of all the customers in the café and quickly becoming its most valuable asset. Meanwhile, as Eli leaves home each day at dawn, she crosses paths with Vale (Eva Grieco), her best friend, whose life is completely opposite: single and a dancer, she has chosen to follow her passion for dance, and even though she’s underpaid, performing in clubs where few really appreciate her art.
Daniele Vicari’s simple, sensitively observed study is deeply and profoundly affecting; anchored by Isabella Ragonese’s beautiful central performance.