Wednesday, June 10, 2015
This year's Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) opens Thursday night in Toronto and Vaughan with L'Oriana, a biopic about Oriana Fallaci, one of the most fearless and celebrated journalists of the 20th century.
The Florence-born Fallaci was known as a formidable interviewer, getting heavyweights such as Henry Kissinger to admit Vietnam was a "useless war" and having the gall to calls Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini a "tyrant" to his face.
Fallaci was a passionate personality who survived war zones and covered world politics with an intensity that this film, directed by Marco Turco, succeeds in capturing. Fallaci is a natural subject for the silver screen. Her words spring to life on screen and its through her words that her fiery intellect shines like a laser beam. Vittoria Puccini nicely balances Fallaci's ferocious drive and compassion.
L'Oriana is not a perfect film. It suffers from moments of melodrama and the Vietnam war sequence look too glossy and not gritty enough. Also, a subplot involving a worshipping, young journalist who meets her idol, the aging Fallaci, feels unncessary in telling her life story.
It needn't. The film belongs solely to Ms. Fallaci, and L'Oriana is a good choice to open this year's ICFF.
ICFF runs June 11-19 in downtown Toronto, Vaughan, Montreal and Quebec City. Check here this week for more film reviews.