Run time: 121 mins
A young girl uncovers the dark truth about her father in this raw and vital Italian drama.
The newest neo-realist film by writer/director Jonas Carpignano, A Chiara is also his third set in the Calabrian region of Italy’s south. It’s the latest entry in a series that explores the area’s mix of residents, this time spotlighting the ‘Ndrangheta, Calabria’s prominent Mafia syndicate. Building on the themes of 2017’s A Ciambra, we witness events through adolescent eyes.
The Guerrasio family and friends gather to celebrate Claudio and Carmela’s oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. But when Claudio mysteriously disappears the following day, 15-year-old sister Chiara (Swamy Rotolo), unconvinced by the cover story, starts to investigate. As she gets closer to the truth, she is forced to decide what kind of future she wants for herself.
Rotolo is nothing short of brilliant. Playing someone who once felt like she was sliding smoothly through the world, only to find that her life has been built from the spoils of the criminal underworld, she puts in one of the stand-out performances of the year. A truly captivating and powerful coming-of-age crime story.