The House by the Medlar Tree (Malavoglia)

Washington, D.C. Premiere This story of a Sicilian fisherman and his family is set against the cruel vagaries of the ocean from which they eke out a living, but which is also the source of continual tragedies and challenges. Magnificently photographed, the film captures the shifting moods of the stunning seascapes and the interior chiaroscuro of the family house. It is a study in contrasts. In a culture deeply embedded in tradition, the old and the new juggle for ascendancy as the younger generation resists the ways of the past. The family boat is named Providenza – Providence – and although it is the family’s main provider, it is also a symbol of their unspoken despair. Old and creaky, its fate provides much of the film’s drama. The film expertly portrays the indefatigable nature of the fishermen. The line between survival and disaster is often just a storm away; inured to hard times, they remain dignified in the face of impending disaster. Borrowing against their house to rebuild their boat is only the first in a series of challenges that this family must overcome to remain together. It is a timeless story that resonates profoundly in today’s world. (—Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival) Directed by Pasquale Scimeca. Produced by Linda Di Dio.

Introduced by Alberto Manai, Director, Italian Cultural Institute.

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