Enzo has spent half his life in prison behind bars. The Sicilian gangster, a repeat offender, has nevertheless found love there as well as a form of salvation through poetry. In snatches, Pietro Marcello paints his portrait, like so many scraps of a broken life, along with a portrait of the underclass from Genoa’s Croce Bianca, Via Prè and Sottoripa neighbourhoods with their labyrinths of cut-throat backstreets. It’s also the tale of an extraordinary love story fuelled by the seemingly endless wait for a simple paradise where the lovers can at last make up for lost time.
“La Bocca del Lupo” is both a melancholy ode to a lost world and an affirmation of absolute artistic freedom. Fascinated by the inmate Enzo and his romantic love affair with Mary, Pietro Marcello fleshes out their personal tale with the evocative power of archive footage. The materiality of the image and sound repertoire (the tapes Mary recorded for Enzo in prison) becomes a tool to give the story back its dimension in time. Enzo’s face, the backstreets of the old town, archive footage and the music come together in dialogue thanks to skilful editing to construct a universe trapped in time, the time lost for the two protagonists who represent the “underclass” so dear to the director. Set against the prison of life and the limitations of Enzo’s and Mary’s scrawny bodies are the force of desire and their dream of a safe haven.
Programmer and critic
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