Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Happy Winter" shows middle class people celebrating "nothing" in an annual Italian beach festival

PBS POV presented a condensed (91 minutes to 51 min) version of “Happy Winter” (2017, “Buon inverno”), directed by Giovanni Tartoro, on Monday Aug. 12, main link here .  It don’t know why PBS condenses so many of these films.

The film traces some vacationers at the Ferragosto holiday on Mondello beach in Palermo Italy.

The festival provides over a thousand cabins, that are not much larger than enlarged outdoor privies, arranged in rows on the beach, painted blue.  Families “live” in them for a few days in August during the festival which is supposed to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.

During fascist Italy under Mussolini, the event provided politically oriented vacations for members of the middle and lower classes.

The families presented are in debt, dealing with aging or political challenges.  It seems strange to see living this way as a “vacation”.  Many are concerned with their social status now. 

The people seem to enjoy the camaraderie with activities like karaoke and scraping lottery sheets.

Many of the men, particularly, are overweight and rather sloppy. 

There is a book with a similar title by Joao Tordo.
The film was followed by very brief comments by the director, and a micro short animated film “My Father, the Giant”.

Wikipedia attribution:  By Lahiri Cappello - Padova - FerragostoUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, Link

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