March 3, 2024


Showing: Wednesday, December 15 at 8:00PM
Title: The Macaluso Sisters
Year: 2020
Country: Italy
Genre: ,
Actors: ,,,,

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It is 1985 and the Macaluso sisters (Maria, Pinuccia, Lia, Katia and Antonella) are five young, orphaned siblings who live in and work from a shabby rooftop apartment in Palermo, Sicily. They make a living by renting doves out for ceremonies of all manner. Following each gig, the doves return home on their own, by air, naturally. One hot summer, a rare beach outing is planned on a day off from work. Near the close of a day full of enchantment, reverie, and close encounters with secret lovers, a shocking catastrophe alters their lives. The delicate balance of sisterhood is tested in this striking, generation-spanning, film. Italy, 2020, 89 minutes, in Italian with English subtitles. Proof of vaccination, ID, and masks are required.

Venice International Film Festival, winner of the Pasinetti Awards (given by the National Union of Italian Journalists) for Best Film and Best Actress (awarded to the ensemble cast playing the sisters).

“The Macaluso Sisters is a film dealing with the metamorphosis of bodies and objects over a span of seventy years. It’s a film about time. About memory. About things that last. About people who stay even after death. It’s about old age as an incredible achievement of life.” – Emma Dante, writer and director

Stay for a discussion after the film on the craft, story, and themes with local filmmaker and Rivertown Film Society Board Vice-chair, Vera Aronow, who was Co-producer and Editor of Backpack Full of Cash (2017) and Co-producer and Editor of Megamall (2010), which she also Co-directed.

Aronow will be joined by local poet and professor, Gerald McCarthy, who has twice been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome. His books of poetry include: War Story (1977), Shoetown (1992), Trouble Light (2008), and Door in the Wall (2020) with writing appearing in TriQuarterly, America, Nimrod, New Letters, Ploughshares, and The Café Review.

Local filmmaker and writer, Juliana Roth, will also join the discussion. Roth currently serves as Chief Storyteller for Edward Hopper Museum & Study Center, Media Specialist with Rivertown Film Society, and teaches writing at New York University and The School of The New York Times. She is a member actor/playwright with WCT Theatre and is currently in post-production on a new short film, Final Curtain Call, which was selected for this year’s Stowe Story Labs.

“Critic’s Pick. HAUNTING AND POWERFUL. No mere sun-kissed coming-of-age film… Metaphysical grace and hints of fantasy… Magical moments are grounded by (the) tactile photography, which accentuates the youthful vitality of the sisters’ bodies and the playful chaos of their movements.” – Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times

“Tempestuous and touching. Perhaps it’s the Italian playwright’s experience with stage dramaturgy that allow her to perform this telescoped trapeze act with such elegance, but even so, the skill with which Dante adapts her own play, marshalling three sets of actors… and brings it soaring to full cinematic life is remarkable. A director of unusually vivid empathy. (An) exceptionally confident film. Dante’s sensitive screenplay and her fine army of actresses… create a beautifully melancholic and often extraordinarily moving celebration of the frictive love that exists between sisters. The Macaluso sisters are marvelous creatures indeed: common as pigeons, precious as doves.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Beautifully composed tale of how a tragic accident in childhood poisons four adult lives: people who grow old while remaining frozen in a single, stricken instant like cursed souls in a fairytale. A touching story, expertly told.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)