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Director: Paolo Zucca

Review by: Giulia Baroni

“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football” – Albert Camus

This is the opening line of not only my review, but the movie itself. Paolo Zucca, the director and writer of the film, uses football as a sport, football as a  passion and football as an exercise for  real life to tell the audience something more about Italians.

Suddenly, it is like seeing two faces of the same coin in black and white. From one side, we have life and,in particular, the development of the career of the referee Cruciani (Stefano Accorsi) and then, Zucca is very good at showing that the football world can be something very different from what we see on TV.

He brings us into the deep of the godforsaken Sardinia and he introduces us to the rivalry between two local football teams: Montecrastu and Atletico Pabarile (difficult to pronounce even for an Italian).

Through football, the director has been able to describe the two faces of Italy, the wealthy part and the poor one, still angry and ready to take revenge if someone steals and kills a goat. Yes, I said «goat».

In a mixture of corruption, farm animals, football stadiums, love and strange and absurd characters (for instance, the coach of  Altletico Pabarese is blind) we find ourselves laughing in many moments. Funny at the beginning, but as the film moves on, the smile turns bittersweet.

In the end, I found myself thinking “How far is all this from reality?”, and my smile became half a smile. Still, this is Italy, which may well be the greatest comedy of all.

This Film holds a special place in my “Italian Film Archives” as it was shot in Sardinia where I grew up! I can definitely say It’s nice to see your ‘backyard’ on the big screen. Have you ever had a Feature Film shot in or around town? We would love to hear about it , share it with us in the comments below!

Find more Italian films here.

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One thought on “REVIEW: L’ARBITRO (2013)

  1. Ciao Giulia. I am trying to learn the Italian language, and I also happen to love this movie. On the back of the DVD the language is listed as Italiano (su parti in sardo). Which parts are in Sardianian? Are there a lot? I don’t want to get confused. Also, is Matzutzi speaking “Sp-italian”? Thanks.

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