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Online Preview: Cargo

A history of exploitation and redemption at the gates of Rome, which subverts the canonical relation victim-perpetrator.

15 – 20 | 2012 | Drama | Italy | Observational | Social Issues

The online preview is expired, but you can still read the review and watch the clip.

Cargo is the second short film written and directed by Roman young director Carlo Sironi, class ’83, and produced by Kino Produzioni often committed to realising works with a strong social-anthropological focus. The film narrates the story of Alina (Lidiya Liberman), a 25-year-old Ukrainian who works as a prostitute in the outskirts of Rome, and Jani (Flavious Godrea), a Romanian boy who accompanies her in the street everyday. Jani is a “fish”, as they say in the jargon, namely the right arm of the “protector” , one who does not speak but looks and checks out hidden in the trees that everything goes smoothly. He learns that Alina will be sold the next day, she “erns” well but she’s too rebellious, she will find other exploiters who will put her in line. He knows that this represents a final verdict for her. At first glance he seems indifferent, yet he observes her over and over until something changes inside his head until pushin him to come up with something, a an escape from the cage that surrounds them.

Cargo is a film about repressed anger, indifference and resignation, but also redemption and free will, about the human capacity to change the course of events, even if triggered by a seemingly irrational choice, as in this case, by a sort of reversed Stendhal syndrome, a conversion of the “perpetrator”  or more simply, by falling in love. A latere, the film evokes pretty radical questions about human nature, the invisible threads that bind individual existences, and suggests a vision that goes beyond the Manichean dichotomy of good and evil showing instead their mixture and contingency.

As a confirmation of his laconic style, tended to mostly allow images to “talk”, Sironi develops the story without hiding his own empathy for the characters, with very intimate close-ups and details of the faces that serve as metonymies of their inner states. It’s indeed a merit of the Roman duo,having addressed such strong and delicate topic. The racket of sex slaves  is perhaps not entirely known in its full extent: «a cruel and lucrative business, extending on a global scale sacrificing any sense of human dignity on the altar of profit» (quote from Siddarth Kara’s Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, Columbia Press, 2009). Note the film was made with the support of BeFree, a Roman Social Cooperative against trafficking, violence and discrimination, active for many years in the fight against sexual and labor exploitation.

Tomorrow our interview with the director. Stay tuned!

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder, creative director, curator @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great booze. My motto is, your motto.

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