Review | America Latina: neurosis, a destructive weapon of happiness

As they did in their two previous films (Blood brothers and Story Di Vacanze), the D’Innocenzo brothers deal in latin america family histories, sense of belonging and parentage.

latin america is the story of a sweet and warm dentist, Massimo Sisti, having to his credit everything that seems necessary for the dream life: a splendid house in the suburbs of Latina, on the Lazio coast, a family that fulfills him composed of his wife who loves him dearly and of their two serious and loving daughters. When you don’t have to choose between love and money, there seems to be no obstacle to happiness. However, an event will come to upset this great certainty. As Massimo descends the stairs to his basement, he finds a gagged girl there tied to a pillar. How long has she been there? Why ? And above all, who is she? So many questions to which Massimo Sisti has no answer at this time.

Thereby, latin america evokes the psychological heritage and in particular the transmission from father to son of an exponential lack of confidence which will lead the dentist to paranoia.

As usual, the D’Innocenzo brothers make a disturbing film, and it appears very quickly in the script. If Massimo is expected to rush to free the discovered girl and warn her family and the police, it will not be. He locks himself in a speculative bubble where he accuses his best and only friend, but also himself. Thus, the discovery of the cellar tilts the film into a strange story in which the character loses all logic. Fearing his own amnesia, he persists in trying to list the days he does not remember. The figure of the ideal husband and father is quickly replaced by that of a psychopath whose neurosis is partly understood by the figure of his father. Thereby, latin america evokes the psychological heritage and in particular the transmission from father to son of an exponential lack of confidence which will lead the dentist to paranoia. The loving father sees in the tender gestures of his daughters signs of betrayal: they want to hide from him a truth that he no longer knows where to look for. Love and money unfortunately do not always bring happiness, even if the two are combined and it is not necessary to choose. It’s the moral oflatin america, portrait of a neurotic man whose internal psychological suffering is not compensated by all the love that his family has for him. In other words, without psychological well-being and confidence in oneself and in others, nothing, not even the strongest, can come to appease a life. A dense and strong film on life and inner peace, this is in a few words the content of latin america.

We have to recognize the technicality of the film, which was made as a purely mental interior construction, questioning the boundary between the rational and the surreal, reality and dream. It is with prowess that the brothers create an agonizing atmosphere in an almost minimalist decor. The plans are out of the ordinary and reflect the overflowing imagination of the directors who find in filmmaking a real playground and experimentation. We can also thank them for remaining relatively vague at times, giving free rein to the imagination of the viewer as to his positioning against Massimo. Indeed, he is not forced to feel a particular emotion towards him, and while some may be disgusted by this tortured being, others may naturally feel tenderness and empathy towards him.

latin america is therefore a film exposing a moral. The will of the directors is clear: beyond a playing field allowing them to express their own madness, they expose and deconstruct preconceived ideas about happiness, revealing the too often neglected place of the psychic on the unfolding of a life.

RÉALISATEUR :  Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo
NATIONALITÉ : Italien
AVEC : Elio Germano, Massimo Wertmüller, Maurizio Lastrico
GENRE : Romance, Thriller
DURÉE : 1h30
DISTRIBUTEUR : Le Pacte
SORTIE LE 17 août 2022

Review | America Latina: neurosis, a destructive weapon of happiness