Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Italian actress Valeria Golino makes an assured directing debut with a study of a young woman Irene (played by Jasmine Trinca of The Son’s Room and The Best of Youth fame) who has decided to promote assisted suicide. She completes her tasks with an idealistic zeal as the terminally ill find a release in death.

She assures her various clients that is possible to stop the procedure at any moment but for most their minds are already made up. She is working for her former lover ((Libero Di Rienzo), a hospital doctor who provides her with a list of patients thought to wish to hasten their end. Irene goes about her business with a furtive air, partly because the procedure is banned in Italy. At one point she goes off to Mexico to buy the drugs (normally used in veterinary practice) to avoid any possibility of detection.

She dispenses her philosophy with compassion although the effect on her personal life (her relationship with a married lover played by Vinicio Marchioni) begins to take its toll. Although other films have dealt with the subject of euthanasia none so far has looked at the emotional difficulties of the perpetrator.

When she is dispatched to help an aged and disillusioned architect, played by veteran actor Carlo Cecchi, she is stopped in her tracks. Far from being terminally ill, he has simply become bored with life and wants out from his "existential pain." She is morally outraged by the deception and rebels.

The shifting sands of their relationship are deftly defined by Golino who displays great virtuosity and visual flair in the way she evokes her sensitive subject. Golino loses her impetus in the second half of the narrative but there is much to admire and appreciate.

Reviewed on: 17 May 2013
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A woman devoted to promoting euthanasia encounters a man with an invisible malaise.

Director: Valeria Golino

Writer: Valeria Golino, based on the book by Angela Del Fabbro.

Starring: Jasmine Trinca, Carlo Cecchi, Libero De Rienzo

Year: 2013

Runtime: 96 minutes

Country: Italy, France

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