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The success Maria (Krystyna Janda) had led her to build a dream life in Italy with her husband (Antonio Catania) and daughter (Kasia Smutniak) where she does what she wants with little to no consequences.

Films We Like

  • Dolce Fine Giornata
  • Directed by Jacek Borcuch
  • Written by Jacek Borcuch and Szczepan Twardoch
  • Starring Krystyna Janda
  • Classification PG; 93 minutes

rating

Dolce Fine Giornata is a film that comes loaded with questions: Can you hoard enough cultural clout to say whatever you want? And if you can, does that privilege extend to one’s choice to be silent; to refuse to explain yourself, even if your words have come with a price?

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This is what’s attempted to be answered by director Jacek Boruch’s film about a Polish Jewish Nobel Prize-winning poet named Maria (played compellingly by legendary Polish actor Krystyna Janda), whose success had led her to build a dream life in Italy with her husband and daughter where she does what she wants with little to no consequences. That is, until a terrorist attack shakes Rome and her speech about the act is interpreted as one of support – for the terrorists. Which is when Boruch has his main character ask: Is the freedom of speech worth sacrificing for a false sense of safety?

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The thing is, we’re not given quite enough time with Maria to be able to answer that. Her backstory is heartbreaking and complex, but a focus on an extramarital relationship with a young Egyptian man (Lorenzo De Moor) means less time to explore what brought Maria to where she is or why. And that’s a shame because the casting and performances are exceptionally strong. Dolce Fine Giornata is a beautiful movie with an interesting and important perspective, but its message would be even more effective if it was navigated through characters you really got to know.

Dolce Fine Gionata opens Oct. 11 at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto (tiff.net)

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