Pinuccio Lovero: A Midsummer Death's Dream

Pinuccio Lovero: A Midsummer Death's Dream


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Meet Pinuccio. He's a man blessed with good luck - he's had the chance to pursue his boyhood dream and become a cemetery attendant. The trouble is that his good luck rubs off on other people too, and so for months on end, in this small Italian town, nobody has died.

Pinuccio is not the kind of guy you'd expect to have an obsession with the dead. He's a lean, smiling fortysomething who likes lounging around shirtless in the sun, smoking a cigarette and listening to pop music or the brass band pieces he's composed himself. He drives around on a yellow moped, has lots of good friends and enjoys gardening. He still thinks wistfully of the girlfriend who left him three years ago, and cannot contemplate giving his heart away to anyone else, but he loves life and is perpetually optimistic. "We all die," he acknowledges. "You just have to remember to do some living first."

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A charming portrait of this complex man, this film is also a hymn to rural Italy and to a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Here the cycle of life and death is accepted along with everything else and the religious rituals that surround it are of the easy-going, joyous kind, with colourful parades and fireworks. Pinuccio sees funerals as celebrations rather than laments. He still dreams of getting a similar job in the town where he grew up, where three or more people die ever day, so there's always something going on.

Although not very much happens in this film - and that's largely the point - it's beautifully made and will draw you into its gentle rhythms until you don't much care. What could have ended up as a run of the mill documentary about how funerals are organised has emerged as something much more interesting, a story about life.

Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2009
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The story of a cemetery attendant whose good luck is bad for business.

Director: Pippo Mezzapesa

Starring: Pinuccio Lovero

Year: 2008

Runtime: 60 minutes

Country: Italy


Italian 2009

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