Sweet Dreams (2016)

Turin, 1969. Nine-year-old Massimo’s idyllic childhood is shattered by the mysterious death of his mother. The young boy refuses to accept this brutal loss, even if the priest says she is now in Heaven. Years later in the 90s, adult Massimo has become an accomplished journalist. After reporting on the war in Sarajevo, he begins to suffer from panic attacks. As he prepares to sell his parents’ apartment, Massimo is forced to relive his traumatic past. Compassionate doctor Elisa could help tormented Massimo open up and confront his childhood wounds… [Synopsis courtesy of Directors’ Fortnight]

Vincere

There is a secret in the life of Mussolini: a wife and a son, who was born, acknowledged and then denied. The secret bears a name: Ida Dalser. It is a dark page in history, one ignored in the official biography of the Duce. When Ida meets Mussolini in Milan, he is the editor of Avanti and an ardent Socialist who intends to guide the masses towards an anti-clerical, anti-monarchical, socially emancipated future. Ida already had a fleeting encounter with him in Trento and remained thunderstruck. Ida truly believes in him and his ideas: Mussolini is her hero. In order to finance Popolo d’Italia, a newspaper he has founded and the nucleus of the forthcoming Fascist Party, Ida sells everything she has: her apartment, her beauty salon, her furniture and jewelry. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

Dormant Beauty

Italy is cleaved by Eluana Englaro’s drama, who will die after 17 years spent in a vegetative state. This national tragedy will touch and transform various characters, each of them with their own ideology and beliefs. A senator is struggling with his vote on a law he profoundly disagrees with, torn between his conscience and his loyalty towards the leaders of his party. His daughter Maria, a pro-life activist, is protesting in front of the clinic where Eluana is hospitalized. Roberto and his brother are there in opposition, demonstrating for stronger secular values — yet it is with Roberto, the “enemy,” that Maria falls in love. These and other converging stories are connected by a unique emotional thread: a reflection on the meaning of life. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]