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VIAGGIO SEGRETO (Secret Journey) is a very dark and very beautiful film from Italian director Roberto Andò who co-wrote the screenplay with Marco Poccioni. The story takes place in Sicily in the childhood home of two children who share a dark secret.
When Leo & Ale are children, they witness their mother's murder in the family villa in Sicily. They both move to Rome where thirty years later Leo (Alessio Boni) is a psychologist who has major problems relating to people outside of his role as a professional. His sister Ale (Valeria Solarino) has fallen in love with a successful painter, Harold (Emir Kusturica): the brother and sister remain close but there is a tension in their love for each other that is palpably foreboding. The house of their childhood is about to be sold and Harold wants to buy it for Ale. Leo leaves for Sicily to evaluate the possibility of his purchasing the house: a real estate agent Anna (Donatella Finocchiaro) shares the old villa with Leo and awakens an interest from him. Ale and Harold also travel to Sicily to make final arrangements. The visit to the place of their childhood surfaces nightmares and we re-live those moments as the children observe the strange murder of their mother. In shared dream sequences they observe their father (Marco Baliani) and mother (Claudia Gerini) in the dysfunctional passionate relationship (actullay in a danza macabra) and gradually throughout the stay in Sicily the truth of their mother's death is revealed and the once sequestered lives of Leo and Ale are transformed.
There are portions of the film's story line that are confusing at best, especially attempting to determine the difference between the imagined past and the reality of the past. This is a psychological thriller with a Gothic flavor and some fascinating performances by a very beautiful cast. The haunting cinematography is by Maurizio Calvesi and the musical score is by Marco Betta. As is usually the case with Eurocenima films there is a short film that opens the movie, a strange little film about a child's discovery of the meaning of death called 'Danthe'. VIAGGIO SEGRETO is in Italian with English subtitles.
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