Il Mio Corpo review – a taste of common humanity under Sicily’s burning sun | Film

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The title could allude to mass in the church in which some scenes are set (“Take, eat, this is my body”). But the bodies are more secular in this rather beautiful docu-fictional piece from Italian film-maker Michele Pennetta, a very physical movie about poverty and loneliness, about people whose bodies are perhaps all they have.

Il Mio Corpo returns Pennetta to the Sicilian landscape he has explored in his previous feature Fishing Bodies, from 2016. This time, he has found two different real people in Sicily whose lives he brings together in a kind of diptych. One of them is Oscar, a tough, scrappy, lonely kid who may have been emotionally abused by his father – there is talk of a court case in which the judge heard testimony against Oscar’s father from Oscar himself, which clearly still rankles. Now things have been resolved and Oscar works for his dad in the scrap-metal business, scavenging for discarded old bits and pieces in the burning sun, with his dad yelling at him.

Meanwhile, in another part of the island, Stanley is a Nigerian migrant awaiting an official decision on a visa that would allow him to stay. The local priest has found him some temporary work, including sheep herding, another activity with Christian echoes that is ultimately to bring Stanley and Oscar’s lives into alignment.

Pennetta has evidently, in the loosest way, induced these two to act out improvised scenes indistinguishably close to their real lives, a guided fiction. The director intervenes authorially in the ending, and maybe Oscar’s discovery of a discarded Virgin Mary statue is not an accident. The film shows how much they have much in common, chiefly their vulnerability but also their unselfconscious, un-self-pitying courage. Their faces are vivid and Pennetta’s film somehow returns you to the simple, fundamental fact: these are real people whose lives carry on outside the movie screen’s perimeter. What is to become of them? Il Mio Corpo focuses on the forgotten and the marginalised.

Il Mio Corpo is released on 11 December in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema.

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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Il Mio Corpo review – a taste of common humanity under Sicily’s burning sun | Film

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