Film Review: ALÌ BLUE EYES (directed by Claudio Giovannesi / International premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on April 24, 2013

in Film

NATURALISM AT ITS BEST

There seems to be a tendency for fledgling directors making their first narrative features to limit themselves to low-key realism. But whereas so many of these creations end up being dull, flat, and redundant statements, Claudio Giovannesi’s Alì Blue Eyes, though awash in realism, is a captivating, insightful and truthful portrait of his characters and the world they live in. Set in a seaside Italian town, Mr. Giovannesi’s film follows two 16-year-olds, Nader (Nader Sarhan) and his best Dmitry Zvonkov’s Stage and Cinema film review of Ali Blue Eyesfriend Stefano (Stefano Rabatti), over the course of a week as they rob, fight, make love, and go to school. The central conflict of the film is between Nader and his parents. He was born in Italy and makes a point of acting like a native, whereas they are devoted Muslims from Egypt, and when they learn he’s dating an Italian girl it creates an insurmountable chasm. Thankfully Alì isn’t an issue piece and Mr. Giovannesi handles the realities of his characters with a lovely humanity and a light touch: there isn’t a single unmotivated word of explanation in this picture. In fact, to Mr. Giovannesi’s credit, every element in his film – from screenplay (Mr. Giovannesi and Filippo Gravino) to cinematography (Daniele Cipri) to the remarkably naturalistic and intimate performances – is deceptively simple and elegant, to the point where one almost forgets one is watching a movie.

Dmitry Zvonkov’s Stage and Cinema film review of Ali Blue Eyes

photos © Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Alì Blue Eyes
Fabrizio Mosca presents a production by Acaba Produzioni with Rai Cinema
Italy – 2012 – Color – 100 min.
International premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
for screening times, visit Tribeca

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