starring Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato, Francesco Casisa, Veronica D'Agostino
written and directed by Emanuele Crialese
by Walter Chaw Emanuele Crialese's Respiro has the rhythm and the pulse of the southern Italian island on which it was filmed. It is all of breathtaking panoramas and impossible colours, and in the middle of it is Greek-Italian actress Valeria Golino evoking, in a career-defining performance, late countrywoman Gina Lollobrigida. (Golino would have been a far better choice than Penelope Cruz in the remake of Fanfan la Tulipe, currently not-wowing audiences at Cannes.) A film by turns savage and languid, for the first part it seems as though the film, with its clashing bands of shirtless youths, will be a reworking of The War, but then it becomes more a metaphor for grief and redemption in a feral environment fettered for too long by men and their illusions of cities.