Film review: A Chiara | national post

The Italian drama replicates the frustration of not knowing what’s going on

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I got a little sick of hearing people tell 15-year-old Chiara (Swamy Rotolo) that she was too young to understand what was going on with her family in the drama in Italian. A Chiara. But maybe this embarrassment was intentional. After all, it seems to bother Chiara just as much.

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Writer/director Jonas Carpignano has a good time showing us that Chiara is a comfortable young woman, well off to the point of being spoiled. But her comfortable life crumbles when her father turns out to be a suspect in a major criminal investigation. Soon, members of her family are in hiding and she is pushed into a foster care program for children from Mafia families. What she didn’t even know she was.

The camera stays close to Chiara, so we rarely know more than she does. (Although if you’re older and wiser than 15, you can often find yourself several steps ahead of her.) But that creates its own level of irritation, because many of the details we yearn to know remain. opaque.

A typical conversation between Chiara and one of her relatives, many of whom are played by non-professional actors from the same extended family: “Are we in trouble? Chiara wants to know. The answer comes back, but it’s not quite an answer to the question she asked. “You are not in trouble.”

“Who’s in Trouble?”

“Nobody.”

“Do you swear?”

“I swear.”

Of course, we don’t believe a word of it.

A Chiara opens June 3 in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, with more cities to follow.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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