Title: Short Skin 

Director: Duccio Chiarini

Starring: Matteo Creatini, Michele Crestacci, Bianca Nappi, Bianca Ceravolo, Nicola Nocchi, Francesca Agostini, Miriana Raschilla.

‘Short Skin,’ the first Italian movie in competition at the 65th Berlin Film Festival (Section Generation 14plus competitions), surely is an endearing “Foreskin’s Lament.”

Edoardo (Matteo Creatini) lives in Pisa and has been suffering since childhood from phimosis. The wellbeing of his malformed penis is of great concern for the entire family, with both his parents (Michele Crestacci and Bianca Nappi) and even his little sister Olivia (Bianca Ceravolo) participating in inspections of Edoardo’s member. Now seventeen, Edoardo starts to feel the pressure: his best friend Arturo (Nicola Nocchi) is obsessed with losing his virginity and endlessly fantasises about the details of the eagerly awaited moment. Edoardo wouldn’t mind having sex, especially when his best friend Bianca (Francesca Agostini) comes to Pisa for the holidays, or when he meets Elisabetta (Miriana Raschilla), a girl who sings in a band. However, his condition makes things very complicated for him.

The story faces the physiological situation of the teenager with utmost respect, portraying the body as a biological testimony rather than going off in obsessive voyeurism. The topic is serious but the story per se lacks tit for tat. However the feature will captivate audiences with its smart mix of humour and drama, maybe even teaching a lesson or two about courage, improvisation and overcoming one’s insecurities.

According to director Duccio Chiarini his first fiction feature has many autobiographical elements. This somehow transpires through the way the cinematic flawed family has a very realistic chemistry. Not to mention the way the lead actor’s actions and commentaries are governed by extraordinary common sense.

Despite the energy of the movie may in some points run dry, ‘Short Skin‘ is a coming-of-age ode to youth, revealing a subject matter that often is unspoken of.

Technical: B

Acting: C+

Story: C+

Overall: B-

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi


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By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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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