Mother Nature

Mother Nature


Reviewed by: Chris

Mother Nature opens with an adrenalin-filled mayhem of cross-dressers and transsexuals rehearsing for a play. One of them, a beautiful and alluring post-op called Desiderio, doesn't let her lover Andrea come to rehearsals. She also keeps another of her activities secret from him - a little whoring that helps things financially. Andrea is bronzed eye-candy - 'like Ulysses on horseback' - but he also has a secret... in the shape of a fiancée.

People in the transgender community are very supportive of each other. When things fall apart they are quick to set up an alternative way of 'making people happy'. In the shadow of Mt Vesuvius they set up an organic farm that provides existential and parapsychological counselling (no "lollipop action", as Desiderio explains to some former clients from the dockyard). The name Trans Vesuvio is ditched in favour of the more respectable Mater Natura (Mother Nature).

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This is a visually vibrant comedy with some well-delivered songs. A car-wash scene has echoes of Flashdance and the beautiful photography captures the pastels of Italian architecture as well as the kitsch colours of nightclubs.

It loses momentum half way through, however, and the story lacks depth and believability. The organic retreat has luscious produce on tap with no apparent effort, and there is a string of locals coming to seek advice and guidance. In a fully fledged musical, such plot holes would not matter, but Mother Nature never quite gets into its stride past the first rush of enthusiasm, nor has a script strong enough to reach our hearts.

There is much pouting and posturing and some visually electric scenes, but insufficient substance for a feature film that wants to pull more audiences than just a camp fan zone.

For more information about the Italian Film Festival, visit the official site.

Reviewed on: 16 Nov 2006
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Visually vibrant comedy about the life and love of a transsexual.

Director: Massimo Andrei

Writer: Massimo Andrei, Silvia Ranfagni

Starring: Maria Pia Calzone, Valerio Foglia Manzillo, Vladimir Luxuria

Year: 2004

Runtime: 94 minutes

Country: Italy


Italian 2006

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