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An Italian Mirage

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An Italian Mirage (Mirage à l'Italienne)

Directed by Alessandra Celesia

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Looking for a job? Alaska is waiting for you!” In a Turin bled dry by the economic crisis (“Better off going to pick up heroin in Calabria”, grumbles a mechanic doing a job that barely makes ends meet…), this offer attracts a handful of adventurersat- heart and casualties of life. Be it the former drug addict painfully separated from her daughter or the couple that have lost their son and choose distance as a way of rebuilding their lives, Alessandra Celesia focuses on each person’s change of path, editing her film as a series of intimate portraits. It is no coincidence that the characters in Mirage à l’italienne – be it the Afghanistan veteran with his tattoo, Camilla the theatre actress who plays the role of Dietrich, or Dario the transvestite – almost all carry multiple identities, even on their skin. Their decision to leave is anchored in an already fertile imagination, which is a necessary condition for displacement. Yet, the reality of elsewhere, namely Yakutat with its 662 residents on the last census, still has to be faced. Just like the lives that go off on a tangent, the film’s narrative suddenly stops in its tracks shortly after landing – a coincidence that pushes everyone into introspection and counters any plans of exotic escape.