La Pivellina (The Little One)
DIRECTED BY TIZZA COVI AND RAINER FRIMMEL
ITALY/AUSTRIA, 2009, 100 MIN
IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Presented as part of Olive Garden Italian Cinema Night
Sponsored by Peroni, proudly sponsored by Schenck Company
Following in the footsteps of Rossellini and Fellini, the neo-realistic LA PIVELLINA provides more than a revealing look into the lives of the marginalized—in this case, married down-on-their-luck circus performers and their neighbors living on the fringe outside Rome. That in itself would make for an interesting film. But, when the couple take in an abandoned toddler left by a desperate mother (who claims she’ll return), the story becomes even more satisfying—framing how loving these people are and the bond that holds them together. The naturalness of the actors (Patrizia Gerardi, Walter Saabel, Tairo Caroli, and Asia Crippa use their own first names) and the revealing details we see of their daily lives give the film a lived-in quality. The ways they care for and entertain the child are fascinating to behold. And the little one is a charmer. A Directors’ Fortnight selection at Cannes, LA PIVELLINA’s intimate and no-nonsense approach avoids sentimentality and mirrors the spirit of its characters.