Seven Acts Of Mercy (Sette Atti di Misericordia)

January 17th, 2012
Author: Meredith Taylor

Directed/Written by:  Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio

Cast: Roberto Herlitzka, Olimpia Melinte, Ignazio Oliva, Stefano Cassetti, Cosmin Corniciuc

Italian/Romanian   103 mins

The De Serio brothers have set out to give us an intellectual take on immigration seen through the lives of two people who have come to Italy at different times.   Their paths cross and intertwine and slowly a mutual dependency develops.  Roberto Herlitzka gives a sensitive turn as the old man  and Olimpia Melinte is his counterpart; a poor and pregnant girl called Luminata, from Romania.

Few clues are given of their respective past and present but their daily activities are intended to play out and reflect the Catholic church’s proviso that every sinner must perform seven acts of mercy during their lifetimes.  These themes are tenuously woven into this complex and slow-burning film although they remain obscure and difficult to identify throughout.  A patchy narrative style and doom-laden sense of tension make this worthy story hard-going and not for the feint-hearted.

Meredith Taylor c

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