a girl looking for her father, a member of the mafia

Chiara, a 15-year-old girl from Calabria, played by Swamy Rotolo.


Jonas Carpignano, born thirty-eight years ago in New York, lives in Sicily, but his work has its roots in Calabria, more precisely in the town of Gioia Tauro. A work that currently includes three febrile and magnificent feature films, born in the name of documented fiction. Mediterranean (2015), the ciambra (2017), chiara (2022). The first followed the journey, from Africa to Calabria, of two young migrants from Burkina Faso, who became orange pickers, between the hope of rescue and racist attacks. The second made Pio Amato, a fiery gypsy teenager, whose character is involved in all kinds of trafficking, go from a secondary figure in the previous film to the main character.

In this third film, the director privileges the opening of a new axis, like the previous ones, over the tragic intertwining of misery and violence. This axis is that of the mafia itself, but considered from a particular point of view, that of a girl in search of her father. Chiara, a pampered teenager before being brutally put to the test by life, a young brunette with fiery eyes, embodies him. We started with a birthday party, that of her older sister, Giulia, 18, at an inn. clan heat. Love that circulates Music that intoxicates. Parents to the angels. Something, however, will very quickly instill a kind of uneasiness, which arouses suspicion in the viewer’s mind.

Gaze of hunted beast

The eldest daughter, overjoyed, asks her father, following a few others, to make a speech in her honor. He rejects. Out of shyness, one thinks at first. she insists she runs away again. She insists again, but in her father’s face, at that moment, something terrifying is printed. Something between anger and fear, the look of a hunted animal that suggests that the impossibility in question here refers to the existence of another world, another law, tacitly admitted and much more formidable than those we are given to see.

Chiara will never stop seeing him, confronting him, hearing from his mouth.
the naked truth

The whole movie is in this shot. More precisely, in the swing that it induces between the appearance of a civilized society and the reality of a world subject to infinitely more primitive and brutal rules. Official life versus criminal life. The law of society versus the law of silence. The dignity and power of parents facing their downfall. Vague until then, deliberately vague and fuzzy to the point where one wonders where it came from, the film suddenly rushes things and makes them crystal clear. Some members of the clan, outside the restaurant, are attacked by threatening strangers. Alerted, Claudio, the father, comes out in his turn. He gets into a car. He then he disappears. The next day, everything seems normal at home, everyone knows what to expect. Not Chiara. Chiara is not yet in the collusion, in the trust, in the complicity of that world. She just lost her father and she doesn’t understand why.

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