Arrivederci amore, ciao

I don’t remember the first time I watched “La stanza del figlio”, an Italian movie by director Nanni Moretti.

It’s a touching story about loss, fatherhood, conciliation and, maybe, hope. It’s quite a different story than the others Nanni wrote, directed and produced; more narrative, less a neurotic-flux-of-thoughts. Slightly, dangerously at times, not autistic like the others. There is a tangible pace of sorrow in there and it hits you so much to make you uncomfortable.

Is there a way to understand a loss? Personally, I still don’t know. In the movie it seems there is a turning point to first compensate, then understand it when at the end Nanni / the Father gives a car ride to his dead son’s girlfriend and her new ‘friend’. In that occasion, the car should have stopped at the certain known and agreed point, just it doesn’t. To proceed together, to face the after, I saw it as a shy hope for the future of that family.

Four in a car, they start singing an old song: the song talks about a goodbye between two lovers, where the woman is strong and confident that it’s over and she will be fine after all. There is a genuine spontaneity in the singing together and enjoying the moment despite everything. I recall this behaviour an important aspect of being Italian. Somewhere, somehow, Italians have always hope.

Lyrics are pretty strong: a persistent use of metaphors from the nature like clouds and water, showing a constant change in feelings as in the outside; a bitter sense of detachment; a sad, but firm, awareness the past is past, the new has already come. My favourite passage is when she sings:

E quando andrò devi sorridermi se puoi, non sarà facile ma sai, si muore un po’ per poter vivere.”

(And when I leave you must smile at me if you can, it won’t be easy but, you know, you must die a little bit inside to be able to live)

Clever lyrics. I’ve made them mine, quoting them when convenient.

Once I quoted the movie with a nice guy I had met before, but never spoken in depth. I was fascinated by his exotic and religious name, moreover by his story. Complicity of a home party and alcohol, we started chatting and never stopped since then. We found a common ground in the love for old movies.

That night caught ourselves laughing out loud and sharing secrets, tips and stories: when we both confessed the love for ‘La stanza del figlio’ we started singing the song together, at 3 am in a silent dormitory. It was a little nice moment, somehow similar to the movie scene in the car for its spontaneity, that I’ll enshrine in my heart.


The song’s name is ‘Insieme a te non ci sto‘ più by Caterina Caselli and if you’ll ever read this post: much love to you, Jesus (the one w/o the cross, I mean).

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