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The Italian

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This finely crafted Russian debut comes across like ‘The Bourne Identity’ as directed by one of the Italian neo-realists, taking as its heart the complex concerns of Vanya (Kolya Spiridonov), a quietly indefatigable six-year-old orphan – dubbed ‘The Italian’ due to his potential adoption by an Italian couple – who decides that he must find his birth mother when he hears of a tragedy involving a fellow orphan.

Marking its ground as a detailed and honest study of the day-to-day anxieties of orphanhood, the film develops nicely into a gripping rites-of-passage drama which is amply carried by an extraordinarily vulnerable performance from its young lead. With some pantomime-baddie turns from the various overseers helping to compound a strong sense of injustice to young Vanya’s predicament, Andrei Kravchuk’s film is sensitive to the hilt and pleasingly attuned to the guileless outlook of its hero.

Written by David Jenkins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Andrei Kravchuk
  • Cast:
    • Kolya Spiridonov
    • Mariya Kuznetsova
    • Nikolai Reutov
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