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Piuma Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

Title: Piuma

Director: Roan Johnson

Starring: Luigi Fedele, Blu Yoshimi Di Martino, Michela Cescon, Sergio Pierattini, Francesco Colella, Francesca Antonelli, Bruno Sgueglia, Francesca Turrini, Brando Pacitto, Clara Alonso.

In Italian “Piuma” mean feather. Roan Johnson’s latest film tries to grasp the difficulties of millennials in confronting parenthood, as they aspire to bequeath “lightheartedness” to their children.

The comedy alternates grotesque irony and schmaltzy sensationalism, by telling the story of Ferro (Luigi Fedele) and Cate (Blu Yoshimi Di Martino), two teenagers who grew up in different families, but face the same problems. Between hesitation and leaps of faith, acceptance of responsibility and hotheadedness, the two protagonists will spend the nine most exciting and complicated months of their lives, figuring out their upcoming role as parents.

‘Piuma’ arrives during an Italian historical period distinguished by “Family Day” ? with hundreds of thousands of people rallying in Rome to protest against legal recognition of non married heterosexual and homosexual couples ? and “Fertility Day” ? that promotes family planning in such a way that some compared it to the childrearing approach of dictator Benito Mussolini, treating women as baby-making machines.

Along these lines director Roan Johnson seems to nurture the idea that a couple of reckless teenagers can face the problematics of parenthood, despite all the odds may seem against them. Their respective families border on the ridiculous and the only responsible character ? Ferro’s father ? is portrayed as pedantic. The film never ceases to acquiesce the two superficial protagonists and the saccharine finale is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

‘Piuma’ juxtaposes the generation of the economic boom, with the net generation afflicted by the financial crisis. As a quote sums up: “we’ve shifted from class struggle to generation gap.” However the excess of misfit characters nullifies the effectiveness of this analysis.

‘Juno’ proved to be a more audacious film in depicting an independent-minded teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent events that put pressures of adult life onto her.

Technical: B+

Acting: C+

Story: C-

Overall: C

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Piuma Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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