The Italian [Import anglais]
Détails sur le produit
Descriptions du produit
Description du produit
This critically acclaimed film features a standout performance from Kolya Spridonov in the lead role and was Russia's official entry to the 2006 Academy Awards A childless, affluent couple from Italy comes to a provincial Russian children's home to find a child for adoption. The orphanage is a harsh place, run by two rival internal factions. Alongside the official, adult administration, run by a corrupt headmaster with the help fo a greddy adoption broker 'madam', there is a shadow children's gang operating out of the institution's boiler room.
Commands attention. --Little White Lies
Engrossing. --Sight and Sound
Gripping --Time Out
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We had the rare opportunity of staying in the country we were adopting from for 31 days and lived in an apartment in the city, which was about 40 minutes from the Village our daughters came from. We also were able to visit other orphanages and a TB Sanitarium with a Russian friend who regularly visits the children.
We found the conditions portrayed in the movie to be accurate. When I had to use the toilet, I was led to the "guest toilet". It was an old decrpid shed with a bucket. The stench was so bad, I was willing to wait for a few more hours until we went back to our apartment. Our daughters did not have that privelege. Baths, once a week. Clothing? Old, dirty, holey, shoes too small, if at all, but big ole' smiles on all those little faces hoping that you will take them home. Looks of hopelessness, sadness, despair, no future, no hope. We sat and talk to a group of teens who wanted to know if they could come to America. Tears streamed down their faces as we spoke to them and answered their questions. We brought sanitary napkins for the girls, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, laundry soap. Many times they do without these basic things. They have no running water.
They eat sub standard food and many have permenant health problems because of it.
Both of our daugthers were told they would be killed or sold. They were terrified. They were not told this by other kids. They were told this by workers. This was portrayed in the movie.
Our daughters were abused in the orphanages. This was portrayed in the movie.
(If you really want to see the reality, read the Human Rights Report on Orphan Neglect )
THEN... the movie touches on the "commodity" issue. Adoption is legal in Russia and Eastern Europe. It takes HUGE amounts of frustrating paperwork and you come by invitation only. The money changing hands is NOT to purchase a child, but to charge for services: Paperwork translation, travel services etc. But it would be naive to think that there are not those unscrupulous facilitators who make big money off of desperate people.
There is HUGE corruption within the agencies that permit adoption. Russia permits independent adoption without the use of an agency, This waas portrayed in the movie.
All the children want their mommies. They dream of having their mothers. Vanya's desire to see his mother again is accurate. I like the end, which I will not mention here. As Vanya is writing to his friend to let him know that he is ok, hasn't been sold for body parts and is happy, you are left to wonder, is it true? False? It gives you the true sense of hopelessness that portrays the life of an orphan.
And for those skeptics. Yes there are propaganda orphanages, just to please foreigners.
But the main reason to see the film is the performance of the amazing Kolya Spiridonov in the lead role. He simply lights up the screen, and steals every scene he is in. I think it is one of the best performances by a child actor ever captured on film. Buy it!
As Vanya sets out to find his mother, he must first learn to read, in order to read his own personal file and see if he can find any information there. Another orphan, a young prostitute (Olga Shuvalova) teaches him to read against the wishes of the older kids. Once Vanya finds the address of a previous orphanage he was in, he sets out on an adventure of self-discovery. The orphanage managers try to find Vanya, following him across the country, but he will not be deterred in finding out the truth about his own mother before he is adopted.
The Italian is a film about the kindness, and unkindness, of strangers. The various people that Vanya meets along his journey reflect the different aspects of our society. Also, the point should be made, that adoption is not viewed in a negative light in this film. To the contrary, all the characters make it very clear that an orphan should feel very lucky to be adopted by a caring family. And the orphanage itself is shown as a sort of co-op where the older children take care of the younger children as miniature parental figures.
Kolya Spiridonov turns in an amazingly strong performance for such a young actor, and he is really the foundation of the entire film, though the rest of the actors are solid as well. We get so few Russian films in the United States that the fact that this movie is for sale at all should tip off most viewers that it's probably a high-quality film. That expectation doesn't disappoint.
The prospective adoptive family come accross as silly, irrelevant characters who are basically purchasing a child. The film portrays the Russian adoption process strictly as a business in which birth mothers appear to be unwilling participants. This view of the situation of orphans in Russia creates a fantasy world for orphans everywhere in which birth mothers are anxiously waiting to "recover" the child they (unwillinglly and/or unwittingly? according to the director) gave up. What the film failed to show is the story that led to Vanya being placed for adoption. Telling Vanya's story from its true beginning (and staying true to the situation in Russia) would have provided a more realistic and complete look.