One minute you are having a night at home like any other, listening to music and waiting for your lover to arrive home. The next minute, an unimaginable nightmare is visited upon you and everything you have ever known is ripped from your soul. So it is for Paolo in The Wind, In The Evening (Il Vento, Di Sera) when his long-term lover Luca is caught in the crossfire of a political assassination.

Director Andrea Adriatico brings a distinct style and vision to the screen. He’s clever and plays with perspective with some nifty subjective camera work. For starters, he films from the point of view of the anonymous assassins as they communicate via text messages. Who is sending these coded texts about cooking pasta and what do they mean? Who is Paolo talking to on the phone?

Our exclusion is deliberate. It’s a set-up by Adriatico to give us some inkling of what Paolo experiences when Luca, the love of his life, is gunned down as an innocent bystander in the terrorist attack.

Paolo (Corso Salani) and his neighbour Francesca (Francesca Mazza) chase the ambulance to the hospital but the doctors won’t tell him if Luca (Luca Levi) is alive or dead because he’s not real family. In Italy, life partners don’t qualify. Rejected by his boyfriend’s parents he is homeless. In complete shock, Paolo spins out into the night, roaming Bologna’s near-deserted streets that are eerily empty but for the echoes of police sirens and the occasional night owl. He stumbles across a beautiful student Momo (Fabio Valletta) who takes the stunned Paolo to a gay nightclub before attempting to charm him into his bed.

The Wind, In The Evening is a deeply personal portrayal of the first numbing hours of grief. Adriatico makes you feel as though you are out of your body, hovering above yourself like a ghost. It’s a loose and surreal storytelling approach as disconcerting as it is compelling and, while Adriatico’s experimental roots are evident, they never alienate. This is emotionally tight and honest filmmaking. Blink and you’ll miss its brief season as part of the Italian Film Festival.

The Wind, In The Evening screens at the Palace Norton St on 20, 23 and 25 October, and the Palace Academy on 21, 22 and 24 October. Visit the Italian Film Festival website for screening times and full festival details.

GIVEAWAY

The Italian Film Festival continues until 30 October and we have a double pass to any one screening for each of the first five readers to email comps@ssonet.com.au. Passes need to be picked up from the SSO during office hours.

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