“Going back” is a coming of age story. It tells the tale of a boy who as a teenager is uprooted from his northern Italian home and sent to live with an aunt in Locride, the most impoverished area of Calabria in the deep south. Young Stefano’s original rejection of what he considers a primitive world dominated by family feuds gradually gives way to an empathetic understanding of the ways of this archaic society and an appreciation for its beauties and the friendships he finds there. His metamorphose is so complete that he becomes entangled in an event which leaves a wound that is not healed until his “return” as an adult.
The film, most of which is set in the 1970’s, is lyrical and poignant It traces with grace a year in the life of a few young boys and girls on the verge of adulthood in small rural town by the sea, itself poised on the brink between traditional life and the modern world.