When his son was only three, Gianni Amelio's papa departed their poor Calabrian village for Argentina to seek more lucrative work and his own émigré father. He returned 17 years later, unsuccessful on both counts. By then Amelio Jr. had relocated to Rome to study filmmaking. The trauma of such a primal loss hovers over his movies, which deal with intergenerational conflict, betrayal, family ties, migration, and dispossession. Yet a mere oedipal reading ignores the complexity of his oeuvre. One of the few true humanists making movies today—"I belong to the party of forgotten people," he says with a straight face—this gifted storyteller incorporates the political, personal, and socioeconomic into stylized, indeed architectonic, melodramas. He is heir not only to the neorealists, particularly Rossellini and De Sica in terms of themes and character dynamics, but also to Antonioni (use of space) and Visconti (eroticism and the operatic). Now 60 and still plugging his leftist agenda, he is... More >>>