Fest Traveler: Giffoni Film Festival 2012

Each year a different theme drives discussions at Giffoni, and this year, “Happiness” has been chosen in an attempt to reaffirm to young people that it can exist even in tough times, just as the Italian youth unemployment rate hits 36%.

“We have a right to be happy; so much so, that in some countries this right is written into the constitution,” says Gubitosi who wants to open a debate among kids about what the word means to them.

At Giffoni, there is never any correlation between the year’s theme and the movies, which are always far from being sugar-coated. That said, some of the titles this year seem well-suited to drive the “Happiness” debate.

Take Italo helmer Paolo Bianchini’s “Il sole dentro,” which marks a rare case of a local pic in the Giffoni competish and depicts the true inspirational tale of two African kids who snuck onto a plane to Brussels to personally ask the European Union for aid for their village.

Or, by contrast, Korean helmer Lee Sang-woo’s “Barbie,” about an atrocious organ-transplanting scheme involving the adoption of a 13-year-old girl by an American doctor. That entry should make anyone not in the protag’s predicament feel happy.

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