Review: ‘Rocco’

In "Rocco," an enterprising Yugoslavian immigrant in Vienna finds himself transformed from youthfully exuberant construction worker to violent drug dealer in record time. Based on a true story, the gritty, DV-shot feature projects an intimate documentary feel as pic demonstrates how easily the healthy desire for financial independence can go awry. Cautionary tale, which includes a smattering of frank male nudity, is worthy fest fare.

In “Rocco,” an enterprising Yugoslavian immigrant in Vienna finds himself transformed from youthfully exuberant construction worker to violent drug dealer in record time. Based on a true story, the gritty, DV-shot feature projects an intimate documentary feel as pic demonstrates how easily the healthy desire for financial independence can go awry. Cautionary tale, which includes a smattering of frank male nudity, is worthy fest fare.

The muscular Rocco (Morteza Tavakoli), age 19, shares a one-bedroom apartment with his parents and sister. Hired to renovate a cafe, he becomes involved with Leila (Anna Franziska Srna), g.f. of the owner (Ronald Rudoll). When their affair turns sour, Rocco spends more time with the wrong crowd and is rejected by his clean-living Yugoslavian buddies. Anger and frustration lead nowhere good. Iranian-born vet helmer Houchang Allahyari gets meaty perfs from his young cast, and the percussive score keeps things moving.

Rocco

Austria

Production

An Epo Film production. (International sales: Sascha Film Vienna, Vienna.) Produced by Dieter Pochlatko. Directed by Houchang Allahyari.

Crew

Screenplay, Ivan Siljic. Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Ivan Siljic; editor, Michaela Mullner. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival (German Stories), Sweden, Jan. 30, 2003. Original title: Rocco. Running time: 76 min.

With

Morteza Tavakoli, Anna Franziska Srna, Ronald Rudoll, Dolores Schmidinger, Claudia Androsch, Michael Niavarani, Gunther Tolar.
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