Shelter Me  {Riparo}
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Shelter Me
Riparo

Italy, 2007, 100 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Immigration / Exile, Lesbian
Program: World Cinema
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Marco Simon Puccioni

Returning to Italy after a romantic getaway in Tunisia, Anna and Mara find an unexpected souvenir stashed in their luggage — an Arab teenager named Anis. Nearly broke and a stranger to Europe, Anis finds himself adopted by the spoiled but good-hearted Anna, the heiress to a shoe manufacturing business. And while the distrustful Mara, a factory worker employed by Anna’s family, initially resents the intrusion, the three find a fragile domestic rhythm: Anna the concerned mother, Mara the sisterly confidant and Anis the curious child. But the forces of the outside world soon start to undermine their makeshift family; Anna must endure the cold disapproval of her mother, Mara suffers at her ailing father’s bedside, and Anis begins to quietly take advantage of his new home life—while trying to understand why two unmarried women choose to sleep in the same bed. As Anis and Mara grow closer, they realize their common bond — and problem — with Anna: “She’s my shelter, because she loves me.”
Veteran Italian director Marco Simon Puccioni brings a straightforward, Continental touch to this well-behaved drama, which screened at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. Puccioni lets his actors do the work as they try to carve out a niche between the various polarities of their characters’ identities — native versus foreign, straight versus gay, rich versus poor. — AARON LAZENBY



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