Alone With Her Dreams (Picciridda – Con i piedi nella sabia)
Reviewed by Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya
Director: Paolo Licata
Screenwriters: Ugo Chiti, Catena Fiorello, Paolo Licata; based on a novel by Catena Fiorello
Cast: Marta Castiglia, Lucia Sardo, Claudio Collova , Ileana Rigano, Tania Bambaci
Release Date: October 30, 2020
Alone With Her Dreams is set in a coastal area of Sicily in the 1960s from the point of view of an eleven-year old girl Lucia (Martha Castiglia). She lives with her grandmother Donna Maria (Lucia Sardo), also known as The General due to her no-nonsense approach to life and people. Lucia’s parents and her younger brother emigrated to France in search of work and promised to return by Christmas. We observe Lucia hiding in a chicken coup, attempting to delay her parents’ departure, after which she is curled up in a fetal position while clutching her mother’s sweater. Her parents depart and she is left to ponder life in this primitive Sicilian village where the essential mode of transportation is a donkey, milk is purchased daily from a neighbor’s cow, fruits and vegetables are locally grown, and fish is harvested daily from the sea. Unknown to Lucia there is a sinister reason for the familial dispute between her grandmother and Auntie Pina, which comes to light toward the conclusion.
Director Paolo Licata gives his actors a free hand with natural delivery and they never disappoint. Martha Castiglia gives young Lucia an innocent approach as she observes life’s routine, always yearning to see her parents again. Lucia Sardo plays grandmother Maria like a commander-in-chief guiding the troops. This resourceful woman, moonlighting as the village’s mortician, knows how to provide for her young charge.
Good supporting performances are provided by Claudio Collova as Uncle Saro, an abuser masquerading as a friendly family member; Ileana Rigano as Auntie Pina, an enabler to her husband’s abuse; and Tania Bambaci as emotional Cettina, Luicia’s mother, forced to leave her behind while emigrating to France.
Cinematography for Alone With Her Dreams was done by Lorenzo Adorisio, capturing the natural beauty of the Sicilian coast. Music was composed by Pericle Odierna. English Subtitles are provided for non-Italian speakers.
95 minutes Rated: NR © Tami Smith, Film Reviewer