Aprile | Chicago Reader


Comic film essayist Nanni Moretti may be an acquired taste—a taste acquired by a good many viewers in Italy and France, where he's a major cult figure—but I can't think of a better introduction to his work than this 1998 feature about his struggles with fatherhood and Italian politics and how they interface. I don't know if this means Aprile is his best film, but either because familiarity breeds affection or because his style is becoming fleeter, this is the Moretti feature I've found easiest to enjoy. The month of April is when his son is born and when Italy's first left-wing government is elected; it's also when Moretti decides to delay his favorite film project—a musical centered on a Trotskyite pastry chef—to make a documentary about the upcoming election. Neither movie gets made, but we wind up getting tantalizing glimpses of both and learning a lot about contemporary Italy—and Moretti's special blend of the personal and the political—in the process. 78 min.

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