– VENICE 2020: Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio return to fiction film with a story of fatherly love set in the cruel, illegal world of exploited farm labourers

Review: The Stone Breaker

Salvatore Esposito in The Stone Breaker

Nine years on from Seven Acts of Mercy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio are making their return to fiction film with The Stone Breaker [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a work set in the world of illegally hired farm labourers exploited in the fields of southern Italy. The brothers tell the heart-breaking story of a father and son devastated by a great tragedy and forced to accept all manner of humiliations in order to survive. This second work by the Turin-based duo (who travelled to the Lido back in 2015 with their documentary River Memories [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) is the only Italian title competing in the 17th edition of Giornate degli Autori, unfolding within the 77th Venice International Film Festival.

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The film’s lead is Salvatore Esposito (Gomorrah’s ruthless Genny Savastano), who steps into the new shoes (for him, at least) of a modern-day slave. We’re in Apulia, and Giuseppe is a loving father and husband, but he’s no longer able to carry out his work as a stone breaker in a quarry, owing to a terrible eye injury. As such, it’s up to his wife Angela (Antonella Carone) to leave home in the dead of night and earn money labouring in…

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