The Latest Italian Films Are Showcased Again at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center

Italian filmmakers come back to New York, after a two-year hiatus because of coronavirus.

By Truby Chiaviello, PRIMO Magazine

It was always in June when Films at Lincoln Center hosted Open Roads New Italian Cinema for Manhattanites to see the latest and greatest films from Italy. That was until 2020; when coronavirus reared itself to close down much of the country. Italian filmmakers were devoid of America’s cultural capital to show their latest creations for broader distribution. Italy had suffered some of the highest casualties in the world due to the pandemic. Now, more than two years after the rise and fall of the global disease, comes a time for filmmakers to take on new projects in Italy. After the lockdowns, the masks, the mandates, renewal is upon us where Italian cinema returns to Lincoln Center. 

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2022 offers 14 new films from Italian directors. Their stories range from the surreal to the gritty, from past crimes to present day afflictions, from journeys of rediscovery to the journeys of redemption. This year’s lineup is one to embrace after a two-year absence.

Gabriele Mainetti, 2021
181 minutes
A fantasy epic is the latest offering from Gabriele Mainetti. “Freaks Out” combines a host of intriguing elements to transform a World War II drama into a surreal saga. The Circus Mezzapiotta, in Rome, in 1943, houses the strange talents of, among others, a man with magnetic powers, a man covered in hair and a boy who is a conduit for electricity. A deranged 12-fingered pianist, who time travels, is the villain. After he sees the future where Hitler kills himself, he sets out to kidnap the strange circus performers to harness their powers to keep alive the Nazi leader. 

Directed by Francesco Costabile, 2022
120 minutes
The long tentacles of organized crime run deep in “The Code of Silence.” Director Francesco Costabile takes viewers to a village in the rugged countryside of Calabria. Here, a young woman, Rosa, played by Lina Siciliano, pushes herself to uncover a family secret. Brought up by her grandmother after her mother’s untimely death, she is beset by grief, exacerbated by the omertà of villagers. The more she delves into her family’s background, the more she discovers brutal truths of the tyranny of the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate. 

THE GIANTS (I giganti)
By Bonifacio Angius, 2021
80 minutes
Bonifacio Angius shows himself to be a cinematic Renaissance Man in this multi-tasked effort, “The Giants.” The filmmaker does it all: Director, producer, writer, editor and actor. Set in a villa in the Italian countryside, the film observes a group of male friends who convene to drink, take drugs, reminisce about past thrills and discuss the philosophical underpinnings of shared experiences. The film turns when one of the friends arrives with a gun.

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