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Amaro Amore (Bitter Love) Movie Review

Title: Amaro Amore (Bitter Love)

Director: Francesco Henderson Pepe

Starring: Aylin, Prandi, Malik Zidi, Francesco Casisa, Yorgo Voyagis, Ángela Molina, Lavinia Longhi.

Did you know that the French word for dustbin is poubelle? Well if the 50s and 60s were the times of the ‘New Wave,’ the Nouvelle Vague, it seems like Francesco Henderson Pepe’s first feature film ‘Amaro Amore’ will begin the era of the “Poubelle Vague,” i.e. Franco-Italian trash-films!

The enticing Eolian location becomes the perfect stage for the existential drama. Two French siblings André and Camille go to the Sicilian islands in search for their identities, where they will meet Santino, a local guy from Salina and make friends with him. The visitors will involuntarily shatter the equilibrium of the traditional and prejudiced microcosm, showing the bitter side of love, (the Italian title ‘Amaro Amore’ translates to ‘Bitter Love’). Let’s leave it at that, to avoid spoilers and sour recollections. The soap opera ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’ would blush viewing the love triangles and revelations that unveil through this movie.

Francesco Henderson Pepe, besides having failed as a writer (he also wrote the screenplay) has managed to lead an incredibly talented cast to a fiasco performance. All actors boast recognition in their previous movies: Francesco Casisa (‘Respiro’, ‘Nuovomondo’, ‘La siciliana ribelle’), Aylin Prandi (‘Diaz’, ‘Gianni e le donne’), Lavinia Longhi (‘Immaturi – Il viaggio’, ‘Sanguepazzo’) not to forget the prodigious Angela Molina who starred in ‘That Obscure Object of Desire,’ the final film directed by Luis Buñuel.

A variety of first-class themes are warped into the worst representation of cliches. The universal power of love, the incommunicability quandary, the dilemma of discovering who you are while growing-up, coalesce into a stale and acrid flick.

Technical: C

Acting: D

Story: D

Overall: D+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Amaro Amore Movie Review

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi is a storyteller, who speaks and writes fluently in English, Italian, French and Spanish. She is member of the Italian Association of Journalists and of the Foreign Press in New York City. She studied in a British school in Milan, from nursery to high school, after which she graduated in Political Sciences, got a Masters in screen-writing and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles.

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