35mm - colour
festivals & awards:
A young prison officer has the task of deciding whether inmates are allowed temporary release from jail, due to particular personal circumstances. In the course of one such assessment, the young man is shocked to discover that the inmate he is interviewing is apparently his long lost father. The father is a gangster who is imprisoned for murder and the prison officer is torn by mixed emotions as to whether to reveal the truth and try to build some form of new relationship with his missing parent. Although there are undoubtedly some prison genre crime movie elements to L'aria salata, this is not in any sense a clichéd thriller, rather a subtly nuanced, confidently realised and superbly performed drama about father and son relationships in extreme circumstances. So, when the prison officer makes the decision, against the wishes of the rest of the family, to engage with his father, the results are by turns rewarding, frustrating and emotionally challenging. A small but perfectly moulded story that marks a confident debut for its director and a reward for those who discover it.