Sat Apr 13, 2024 – 5:00 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
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Life in suburban Palermo can be tough: Salvo is a young father who struggles between makeshift jobs and criminal-grotesque affairs to support his son. When the spiral of violence turns against him, he runs into Ciurè, a transgender dancer who helps him, opening doors to a kaleidoscopic gay night club where she performs every night.
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While watching this film, I hope the viewer connects to the journey of a person confronting their own biases to accept with love and understanding something they always looked at with enmity and suspicion. My favorite movies invite the audience to see themselves in the failures, faults, and subsequent resilience of the characters they see on screen.
Over the decades, films like In the Heat of the Night, Dances with Wolves, Brokeback Mountain, and Moonlight invite their viewers to challenge their perspectives of “the other,” and they remind us that real change comes on a personal level.
In developing this story, I wondered about the experience of an unprepared parent of a transgender child. As a special educator, I reflected on one student in particular and the pain, anger, and undeniable love felt by their very traditional parents. As this student came out as their true self, we talked about the challenge for kids in places and from families that were even more resistant. This film presents that picture in my beloved blue-collar town of Pittsburgh, PA. But my own town, while specific, is really middle America. And the film’s family, while particular, is really every family who requires help becoming the family that they need to be to support the child they have.
Thus, as the antagonism against kids who simply want to be their true selves mounts, perhaps this film can help those who are hardened and fearful of gender identity issues to replace their hostility with love, humor, and humanity.
Born in Palermo in 1979, he is a director, actor and screenwriter. He rounded out his artistic background between Rome and New York. He acted in numerous national and international fiction and film productions such as Squadra Antimafia, Suburra: Blood on Rome, The Beast, House of Gucci. In 2013 he wrote his dramatic text Il pretesto which was published by Di Mauro Editore. Two others followed, Un bacio dai tuoi papà and La belva giudea which in 2019 won the Giuliano Gemma Award for best actor in a theatrical performance. He made his directorial debut with his first feature Ciurè. He is currently working on his next feature film.