In Sicilian Ghost Story, co-directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s superb followup to 2013’s Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week prize-winner Salvo (LIFF13), the duo evocatively interweave the richness of fairy tales with the obscenity of Mafia control.
In a little Sicilian village on the edge of a forest, Giuseppe, a boy of 13, vanishes. Luna, his classmate, who is in love with him, refuses to accept his mysterious disappearance. She rebels against the silence and complicity surrounding his disappearance. To find him, she descends into the dark world which has swallowed him up, with a lake as its mysterious entrance.
Sicilian Ghost Story is a moving festival highlight, and is inspired by the true story of teenager Giuseppe Di Matteo who was kidnapped in 1993 in a bid to silence his father Santino, a Mafia informant. The film confidently walks the line between grim reality and comforting fantasy, elements of the supernatural (which may also be read as pure imagination) appear like soothing balm on the warped relationships of a typical family, school and community.