Eric Burnasconi’s debut feature, “Synesthesia,” is a well-handled if unremarkable drama that hooks viewer attention by using scrambled chronology and several participants’ points of view in detailing repercussions from a serious accident. The pic, set in Italian-speaking Switzerland, opened there this spring; star Alessio Boni should ensure theatrical exposure in Italy itself. Elsewhere, fest dates and tube sales beckon.

Divided into chapters named after their lead protagonists, “Synesthesia” (a neurological condition in which subjects have irregularly linked sensory responses) starts with Alan (Boni) and Michela (Melanie Winiger) enjoying a romantic idyll in the mountains — at least until a log in the road sends their motorcycle flying. Both land in the hospital, their illicit affair awkwardly revealed. Three years later, a now wheelchair-bound Alan is surprisingly happy, his marriage to pregnant wife Francoise (Giorgia Wurth) having survived, even flourished. Meanwhile Michela recovers on her own, barred from seeing the man she’d once planned to run away with. But fate sends the couple’s close friend (a winning Leonardo Nigro) her way. Brief epilogue reveals the original accident’s freakish cause. Perfs and packaging are pro.



  • Production: An Imagofilm Lugano production in association with RSI. (International sales: Imago, Lugano, Switzerland.) Produced by Villi Hermann. Co-producer, Giulia Fretta. Directed, written by Eric Burnasconi.
  • Crew: Camera (color, Super 16-to-35), Pietro Zuercher; editor, Claudio Cormio; music, Zeno Gabaglio, Christian Gilardi; art director, Fabrizio Nicora; costume designer, Laura Pennisi. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (First Films -- competing), Aug. 29, 2010. Running time: 91 MIN.
  • Cast: With: Alessio Boni, Giorgia Wurth, Melanie Winiger, Leonardo Nigro, Teco Celio, Bindu de Stoppani, Roberta Fossile, Igor Horvat, Federico Caprara. (Italian dialogue)
  • Music By: