Swept Away…by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August

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The film that started the Wertmüller vogue in the States. Beautiful, blonde Raffaella of the jet-set loses her yacht while with beautiful, dark Gennarino of the working class. Their dinghy founders on a sun-soaked island. A banal political polarisation, fostered by North-South Italian antagonism, keeps them at each other's throats for a while; but it's no surprise when proximity resolves itself in a blissful, sado-masochistic orgy. Raffaella's shrill invective turns to self-abasing adoration; Gennarino gets his freshly caught fish cooked, and flower arrangements in his pudenda. Though seemingly a prettily made, pretty erotic exploitation movie, one suspects that there is value in Wertmüller's observation of the potency of sexual chauvinism. The film fails, however, through the absence of credibility and objectivity, and its refusal to move into the realms of fantasy, allegory, or even irony.

By: JS

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