Saturday, 30 July 2016

MIFF MOVIE REVIEW: BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (SANGUE DEL MIO SANGUE)



8/10

In 17th century Italian convent a nun is accused of interacting with Satan when her priest lover commits suicide. Priest’s brother Federico comes to the convent to plead for his brother not to be ostracized and not to be buried on a donkey cemetery, where the suicide victims end up. His only chance is for the accused nun, Benedetta, to confess she had a pact with Satan to mislead his brother. As Benedetta goes through medieval  trials Federico struggles with his own passion towards the fallen nun. Is there a way for him to escape the seduction of flesh?

Flash forward to modern times, the same town, the same church is now a derelict building where a mysterious old man called Count Basta is hiding. He had disappeared from sight eight years ago, and now thought to be a vampire, only coming out at night. When his home is under threat of being sold to a wealthy Russian businessman, he is forced to come out to sort out this problem. What he sees is the world he struggles to accept. But even with the modern globalisation  no priest or vampire can withstand the eternal beauty of love.

BLOOD OF MY BLOOD is made by Italian master Marco Bellocio, a cult figure in italian cinema. Raised catholic, his many films focus on church, its shortcoming and influence on people and the time itself. Giving us two seemingly unrelated stories, he switches between the serious and sarcastic without damaging the atmosphere or credibility. For a viewer it is a bit of a challenge, because one will have to have a certain trust in a filmmaker, whose real goal is taking you on an emotional journey, instead of giving all the answers.

The movie is slow, but gloriously shot. The transfer to the modern time could have happened more seamlessly, and a bit of a shock to an unprepared – the story of the tested nun is very engaging if you allow it and you would want to know what had become of her. 

Both storylines are given brief but satisfying endings, however you would want to discuss them with someone when the credits will roll. This is the film you should be watching in the company of a fellow movie lover!

The movie is said to have conflicting reviews from both international and Italian audiences, however in the end it all comes down to an individual. BLOOD OF MY BLOOD is unlikely to come to Australia in general release, but it’s a thinking person movie that will stay with you for a long time.

QUICK FACTS

Town of Bobbio where movie takes place is a director’s hometown and features in his many films;

The story of the nun Benedetta is based on the real case of 16th century "Nun of Moza" who had been walled inside her convent for many years;


A cover version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” is heard during the 17th century story ark of the film and does not feel at all out of place;

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