Venice 78: “America Latina”
The opening, environmental shots of nature in what looks like a forest are interrupted by a brutalist, concrete villa. A classical piano concert is interrupted by a honking car. And the daily life of Massimo, a dentist, is interrupted by the discovery of a kidnapped girl tied up in his basement. Shocked, he is clueless on what to do next, doubting his own mental health state, his friends and family, and being afraid to be blamed for a crime he has no recollection of.
This is the opening of “America Latina”, the Innocenzo Brothers latest cinematic endeavour which they consider “a new start” in their distinguished career. Their go-to actor Elio Germano in the lead role is not the only element they kept from their previous works, as they persist in sharpening their realistic, crude style without being afraid to show gruesome scenes, yet without indulging in the gore. Luckily they changed the sound designers, as “Favolacce” was incomprehensible.
Through several inquisitive close-ups, we share the protagonist’s uncertainties: is it a hallucination, a conspiracy, or his own wrongdoing?
The overexpositional ending is a true disappointment, stripping away any ambiguity which was the film’s greatest strength. Yet, the superb sound design and an array of impacting, beautifully coloured shots invigorate the captivating genre tale, confirming the Innocenzo Brothers as the most original voices that modern Italian cinema can offer. “America Latina” is ambitious but after all, a simple and mature film without too many futile meanings.