A prosperous north Italian town wakes up to discover that all its immigrants have disappeared in Francesco Patierno’s comically provocative but slight “Things From Another World,” adapted from Sergio Arau’s 2004 feature “A Day Without a Mexican.” Pic’s timing would seem to be right, given the subject’s newsworthiness, but disappointing receipts at home suggest that despite the comedic form, locals are looking for something more forceful or more banal. Offshore will be limited to Italo showcases.
Town kingpin Golfetto (Diego Abatantuono) employs a number of legal immigrants in his factory, but he’s a typical hypocrite, railing against foreigners while enjoying their services (including those of an affectionate African streetwalker). The morning after he rants about immigrants on TV, they all disappear. Ariele (Valerio Mastandrea) has to cope with a senile mother and no minder, while his ex-g.f. (Valentina Lodovini) is anxious about her black fiance as well as her foreign-born students, all gone. Patierno (“Pater Familias”) offers a few striking images but no ferocity in this open-ended dissection of hypocrisy. Ironically, the press notes fail to credit any thesps playing the immigrants, making them disappear, too.