Last night marked the opening the New Italian Cinema Festival at SIFF Cinema.  Hosted by SIFF, the festival is in its 19th year, but visiting Seattle for the first time.

Opening night was packed, and for good reason:  Based on the strength of the opening film alone (Fortapasc, the thirteenth film from veteran Marco Risi), I'm dying to see the whole program.


Fortapasc is a stunningly shot film about Giancarlo Siani, a 26-year-old fledgling reporter gunned down in 1985 for digging too deeply into the dealings of the Camorra, the infamous Neapolitan mafia.  Highlights include the a thoroughly charming performance by Libero de Rienzo, who bears uncanny resemblance to the real-life Siani.

Almost every film comes with an Italian visitor; if the rest of them are like Risi, who spoke last night, you'll be treated to delightful Q&As that leap back and forth between Italian and broken English, with a translator who follows with all the skill of a linguistic trapeze artist.

Be sure to check this out if you get a chance:  We're one of only three American cities (with New York and San Francisco) to get it.  Runs through November 21.
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