Italian Films Unspooling Venice Fest Promise

The dozen features by Italian directors that made the cut for Venice — out of an amazingly high 177 pics submitted for entry — are a promising batch, with some titles centered around familiar Italo tropes such as the mob, Silvio Berlusconi and economic hardship. But also more unfamiliar subjects, including poetry, psychedelics and an extreme eating disorder caused by a new-age credo.

Hungry Hearts,” by Saverio Costanzo stars Adam Driver and hot Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher as a couple in Brooklyn expecting a baby whom the mother believes is an “indigo” child necessitating a very particular food regimen. It’s the only Italian entry at Venice shot outside the country.

Sabina Guzzanti’s scathing docu “La Trattativa” investigates Italian pols and the Mafia allegedly being, or having been, in cahoots. It’s sure to make waves on the Lido. Franco Maresco’s “Belluscone, una storia siciliana,” a satirical account of Berlusconi’s strong ties with Sicily that mixes fact and fiction, is also likely to provoke.

“Obscene Life” by Renato De Maria is about an adolescent who goes through an intense drugs, sex and solitude phase after his parents pass away; first-timer Michele Alhaique’s “Senza nessuna pieta” (No Pity) toplines Pierfrancesco Favino as a construction worker who doubles as a loan shark enforcer.

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