The Son (first feature)

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The Son (Il Bambino di vetro)

original title:

IL BAMBINO DI VETRO

directed by:

cinematography:

set design:

costume design:

Serena Elettra Romano

production:

Revolver, with the support of Regione Sicilia

distribution:

world sales:

country:

Italy

year:

2015

film run:

80'

format:

colour

release date:

14/04/2016

festivals & awards:

Palermo, Today.
Vincenzo Vetro, a 40-year-old husband and loving father, works at the municipal fish market every night. To his 10-year-old boy, Giovanni, he is a model above reproach. Outside his job, Vincenzo takes Giovanni with him on his door-to-door delivery rounds. Only at the last stop – a downtown tailoring shop – does it become clear that Vincenzo is in fact a drug courier for a Mafia Boss, Don Matteo Scavone.
For years Vincenzo has been playing a double role, caught between a regular job and a shadowy underworld filled with threats and dangers. His son, Giovanni, only realizes this when his anxious mother unintentionally gives him the idea that the regular phone calls his father receives are connected with something terribly dangerous. Those People on the phone are after Vincenzo, and sooner or later they’ll get him.
Giovanni fully understands the risks involved when he reads about the murder of one of Vincenzo’s “colleagues”, whom he had met at Don Matteo’s tailoring shop. His suspicions prove to be well-founded when he overhears the Boss giving orders to carry out a “hit”, and Giovanni is certain that the victim will be his father.
Appalled by this thought, one day the boy sneaks away from school and hurries to the Fish Market looking for Vincenzo. His concern becomes terror when he hears the sound of three gunshots. Giovanni rushes to the scene and sees a body lying on the street, but then someone grabs him from behind. It is Vincenzo, who seems more surprised and shocked to see his son than by the shooting. The boy finds out that the victim is in fact the manager of the Fish Market. But now he has the appalling suspicion that his father was in some way involved in the murder.
The child’s perfect image of his father thus starts to fall apart and Vincenzo’s own world starts to crumble when he is sacked from his job and his “friends” gradually turn their back on him. There’s only one thing left for Vincenzo to hold on to: trying and reach the person who keeps on calling the Vetro Family. At least, that’s what Giovanni thinks.
Unseen, the boy follows his father to the place where a meeting is arranged, and he is faced with yet another proof of his own well-founded fears. His father is getting into trouble again, and this time with some other mafia “family”. Giovanni’s got one thing in mind: saving his father, but the only way to do it is to report him to the Police.
Thus, next time Vincenzo arranges to see “the family”, the boy turns up at the meeting with a policeman. Surprisingly, though, Giovanni only finds out that there’s no one to arrest, no valiant deeds to make, no heroes, no villains, nothing; just a series of complex and uncomfortable truths to face. As a matter of fact, it is not another “mafia family” that Vincenzo is seeing, rather a second and secret “natural family” of his.
Giovanni finds out that this person’s name is Tommaso, and that he lives with another boy named Daniele. Daniele is exactly the same age as his own, he looks the spit image of his dad Vincenzo, and he also seems to want his father all for himself, unconditionally.
Daniele is illegitimate son who was left alone after their mother died. He now expect to receive ever more care and attention by his father.
While this difficult truth unveils mysteries from the past, it also opens wide an unthinkable reality for him, an unfathomable future, which he will need to come to terms with.