I will lead you to the promised land, holding you like
you're a green balloon, because cinema is magic
dir: Matteo Garrone
Ahem. Usually, when I title reviews, I have the title in English, since I write my reviews in English, and not my preferred language, which would be Ukrainian (Slava Ukraini! Geroiam Slava!), but at the top of the page I tend to have the title as written in whatever language the film was made in, or by, or for.
That would be a confusing thing to do in this instance. So this is a film made by an Italian director, but it’s about the plight of two Senegalese boys trying to emigrate to Europe, and they speak, mostly, Wolof, French, a bit of English and an even tinier bit of Italian.
So I have no idea what language is the “right” one for this flick to be titled in. I’m sticking with the title as written, as this was Italy’s submission to the Academy for Best International Feature Film for 2023 as Io Capitano, and thus it must stay.
I’m not entirely sure if that translates to “I, Captain" or "I am a captain”, or “I am the captain”, or if it’s a reference to the Tom Hanks nauseating thriller Captain Phillips, but I’m pretty sure it’s at least one of those options.
Its relevance only becomes apparent at the very end of the two stressful hours we spend with our protagonists.
And who are our protagonists? Two Senegalese boys called Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and Moussa (Moustapha Fall), who are convinced that their fortunes will be made if only they can get themselves to Europe. It doesn’t matter where in Europe, just Europe. They will make big frat wads of money and send it back to their families and also maybe get somewhere with their rapping and musical skills, to the point where white people will fight for their autographs!