Stijn Coninx, Rik d'Hiet
festival & awards:
Although set in the fifties, in post war Europe, Marina taps into that very modern and actual theme of migration and integration. But foremost, it's a story about ‘The American dream', the European way! It's the story of realising a dream by following one's heart's desire, against all odds. And the beauty of it is that it is inspired by true facts, namely the life of the Italian/Belgian musician Rocco Granata who had a worldwide hit with his song "Marina" which sold over a hundred million copies over the world. This song has been covered so many times by such artists as Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin and Dalida.
Marina, which is also the title song of the film, is the story of a young Italian man, about his youth in idyllic Calabria and his struggle to survive in a tough Belgian mining village. It's the account of a 10-year fight against poverty, social prejudice, cultural bias and an authoritarian but well-meaning father. But most of all, it's the romantic, compelling and warm story of a young man fulfilling his wildest dreams and getting the beautiful but unreachable grocer's daughter.