Exploitation is of all times. Including our own. An Italian village where time stood still lives from its tobacco plantations. The marchioness thinks she has the right to rule the village with an iron fist. In their own turn, the villagers make frequent use of the goodness, strength, and willingness of the young Lazzaro.
Is he simple-minded? Pure? Is he even human? The enigma is very difficult to solve. Lazzaro Felice, the follow-up to the underestimated Le Meraviglie is a wonderfully original and artisanal gem that confirms Alice Rohrwacher as one of the great talents of contemporary Italian cinema.
She embraces the abundant richness of the tradition (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani) but decisively blazes her own trail. And that trail is more of a footpath across mountains and valleys than a highway. But don’t underestimate the lyricism here.
Lazzaro Felice, with all its rich and varied hues, is more parable than pastoral. A pivotal moment that we cannot reveal, brings the film and all the questions that it raises very close to home. Felicitations.