ANOTHER WORLD/ UN ALTRO MONDO
Italy, 2010, 110 minutes, Colour.
Silvio Muccino, Michael Rainey Jr, Isabella Ragonese, Greta Scacchi,
Directed by Silvio Muccino.
This film was made both in Italy and in Nairobi and the countryside of Kenya.
The focus of the film is a 28 year old man, Andrea, played by Silvio Muccino, co-wrote the screenplay and directed the film. (He is the brother of Gabriele Muccino, director of films in Italy and in the United States, including The Pursuit of Happyness.) At his birthday party, he receives a message from his long-gone father, urging him to come to Nairobi. His aristocratic mother, played by Greta Scacchi, does not want him to go, nor his girlfriend, Livia.
In Nairobi, a social worker explains that his father has died, has left a message, as well as a half brother from a woman who has died. Andrea does not want the boy, Charlie (Michael Rainey Jr, an American actor who lived in Italy to prepare for the film). He sees him as a burden and takes him into the country to find relatives, only to find a man who may be his grandfather, spurning him. Unable to avoid the situation, he takes Charlie back to Italy, looks after him for a while, sends him to school where his bullied and unhappy. Livia is more accepting and while they consider trying to have the child adopted, they share his life and decide that he should live with them. Andrea’s mother also confesses that she was embittered towards her husband and that in fact, she drove him out, and he was a good man.
An interesting and humane film in the evermore complicated and international connections.
1. An interesting film? For Italians? For Africans? Worldwide audiences?
2. The Italian settings, middle-class, affluent lives? The contrast with Nairobi, the Kenyan countryside, the fishing village? The musical score?
3. Andrea, his age, work, party, tensions with his icy mother, his relationship with Livia? His life ahead of him? The party, the message from his father, his mother insisting he not go to Kenya? His decision to go, meeting the social worker, his father being dead, the message, the news about Charlie and his relationship to his father? His reaction, trying to avoid Charlie, booking his flight back, the social worker trying to persuade him, his meeting Charlie? The decision to go to the country, the long journey, sleeping in the car, outside, bonding between the two? The village, the old man, fishing, against colonials, not wanting anything to do with Charlie?
4. Andrea taking Charlie back to Italy, the reaction of his mother, the reaction of Livia? Their wanting him to be adopted?
5. The day by day realities of life with Charlie, getting him into school, the reaction of teachers, students, his being picked on? His unhappiness, fighting? At home, the relationship with Andrei with Livia, her warming towards him, their experiences together? Andrea and his defending Charlie, at school?
6. Gradually becoming a family, Livia and her maternal instincts, Andrea and the change with Charlie’s presence? His realisation that his life would change?
7. The couple accepting Charlie, Andrea’s mother confessing that her husband was not a bad man, that she sent him away, and the news of the good that he did in Kenya?
8. An example of contemporary challenges in an international world?