Carlo Mazzacurati’s 2007 movie La giusta distanza (The Right Distance) is my final movie from the 2009 Lavazza Italian Film Festival and it feels like a proper finale.
La giusta distanza is a story of love, society and prejudice — when Mara, an attractive substitute teacher arrives at the sleepy town of Concadalbero (a fictitious town at the mouth of the Po river), she attracts the attention of a local mechanic, Hassan. Hassan is originally from Tunisia but tries very hard to fit in the Italian way of life. All of this is seen through the eyes of Giovanni – an aspiring journalist who becomes a local correspondent for a newspaper. When a tragic incident strikes, old prejudice resurfaces and destroys friendships … The title of the movie – The Right Distance – refers to the distance between a journalist and his or her object: they should never be too distant, or else there won’t be any pathos – however, they should not be too close either or else emotions will cloud the necessary objectivity.
La giusta distanza is a charming movie – Giovanni, played by Giovanni Capovilla, is perfect as an aspiring and observant journalist, and Ahmed Hafiene who plays Hassan, also represents the character well: an intense man with hidden pain in the eyes and deep longing, who wishes to fit in and be accepted by the society, whilst maintaining his identity. Valentina Lodovini is also perfect in her portrayal of Mara – a city girl who has to endure solitude in the countryside and struggles with her own feelings and fling with Hassan. I really enjoy the movie as it deals with serious issues without overburdening the story.
Prejudice is certainly hard to erase – you would love to think that your trust and friendship will overcome all societal prejudice and racial stereotype, but if something shakes your friendship, will you lean more towards your trust, or do you let that prejudice rise up and take over your friendship?