Nostalgia has a warm and positive feeling right? Pleasant memories you want to revisit. When it is a question of Naples I am nostalgic about that crumbling and rough town. Why not being whizzed around on EU money for a wine and tourism event and then a week at my leisure to explore the greater Naples area including Sorrento, Capri and Positano. Incredible food and wine, stunning topography and a rich culture. But the poverty, garbage and warnings about avoid wearing any jewelry in public, avoid looking like an overly obvious tourist and stay away from certain areas.
Middle aged Felice Lasco arrives home to Naples from Egypt for the first time in 40 years. He is in Naples to visit his ailing mother. He is a successful contractor in Cairo and a good boy he has written his mother regularly but why hasn’t he returned to Naples in so long?
Felice we gradually discover was a teen hoodlum until as a 15-year-old he quickly disappeared to Beirut taken there by his uncle. He married a Muslim and converted to Islam.
His mother dies and it would be logical that he would return to Cairo. But he stays on enjoying a bit of nostalgia. Felice’s nostalgia has a hard edge to it and overcomes multiple warnings from a family friend and the local parish priest he leave Naples. Felice has a task he must perform all caught up in a degree of guilt and nostalgia. The Camorra and nostalgia might suffer a comparison between drinking and driving. The movie builds from puzzlement to high suspense. A good introduction to the intersection between crime and religion in Naples.
For those never having visited to Naples the film will perhaps seem more exotic but for me it brings forth pleasant nostalgia.
The film was directed by Mario Martone. It is Italy’s official entry for the upcoming 95th Academy Awards. “Nostalgia” will debut on VOD on 21February2023.
RKS 2023 Film Rating 90/100.