Nosy mothers, interfering sisters-in-law and a priest who reads out a long list of gloomy scenarios to the people who attend his marriage preparation course… “I promessi sposi” is a comic documentary about marriage in Italy in which the destinies and stories of couples about to say “I do” cross paths. Shot in several towns, the film shows the hidden side of the institution as it follows foreign couples who struggle to understand Italian bureaucracy as well as Italians for whom the days leading up to the wedding are not much simpler.
“I promessi sposi”, the first documentary from the pair of Italian directors, gives us a glimpse of what their filmmaking will gradually become: a vision both external and participative of the transformations occurring in society. Choosing a precise and relentless point of view (that of the people who try to regulate what can’t be regulated), the filmmakers travel the length of Italy from Milan to Sicily at the dawn of a new millennium. They portray a country where the Church has lost its centrality but its citizens still feel the need to notarise their marriages. The result is probably the best Italian comedy of recent years – exultant and brutal, capable of showing a nation now totally cut off from the power that rules over it, tragically highlighting the lack of a common language between Chinese and Italian, Italian and Sicilian, between desire and bureaucracy, between love and the law…
Programmer and critic
Italian filmmakers Martina Parenti (1972, Milan) and Massimo D'Anolfi (1974, Pescara) have been working together for about fifteen years. They created the production company Montmorency Film. Their career began in 2007 with "I promessi sposi" (The Bride and Groom), selected at the Locarno Film Festival and awarded at the Festival dei Popoli and the Filmaker Festival. This was followed by "Grandi speranze" (2009), shot between Italy and China, also selected for Locarno, and "Il castello" (2011), shot entirely at Malpensa airport, which won numerous awards at international festivals. "Materia oscura" (2014), presented at the 63rd Berlinale Forum, won the prize for best film on human rights at the Bafici of Buenos Aires. With "L'infinita fabbrica del Duomo" (2015), presented at the Locarno Film Festival, they begin their exploration of the elements of nature and the tension towards immortality, which will culminate with "Spira mirabilis" (2016), in competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival. They return to Venice with the short film "Blu" (2018) and with "War and Peace" (2020), in the Orizzonti section.