The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà have announced the complete lineup for the 17th edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, June 1-7.

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema offers North American audiences a diverse and extensive lineup of contemporary Italian films. This year’s edition again strikes a balance between emerging talents and esteemed veterans, commercial and independent fare, outrageous comedies, gripping dramas, and captivating documentaries, with in-person appearances by many of the filmmakers.

The Opening Night selection is the New York premiere of Edoardo De Angelis’s Indivisible, a captivating feature about talented conjoined twins whose dreams for their futures start to diverge around their eighteenth birthday. This year’s edition showcases 13 additional titles, all North American or New York premieres, including At War with Love, acclaimed Italian TV personality Pierfrancesco Diliberto’s World War II–set satire; Federica Di Giacomo’s exorcism documentary Deliver, which won the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival; Marco Tullio Giordana’s Two Soldiers, the last in his popular organized crime trilogy; and The War of the Yokels, Davide Barletti & Lorenzo Conte’s fable about a society at war—cast almost completely with children.

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan, Film Society; and by Carla Cattani, Griselda Guerrasio, and Monique Catalino, Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

Acknowledgments: Italian Trade Commission; Italian Cultural Institute New York; Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò—NYU; Antonio Monda

Tickets for Open Roads: New Italian Cinema + our Marcello Mastroianni retrospective, Il Bello Marcello, go on sale May 4, with Film Society members receiving an early access period beginning May 2. Tickets are $14; $11 for students and seniors (62+); and $9 for Film Society members. See more and save with the 3+ film discount package or Open Roads Access Pass.

Films & Descriptions

All films screen digitally at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St) unless otherwise noted

Indivisible / Indivisibili
Edoardo De Angelis, Italy, 2016, 104m
Italian with English subtitles
At first glance, identical twins Dasy and Violet (newcomers Angela and Marianna Fontana, in powerful debut performances) appear to have it all: they’re beautiful, gifted with captivating singing voices, and they do not want for gigs around Naples. They also happen to be conjoined at the hip, which is shamelessly exploited by their parents and close friends for money. But on the cusp of their 18th birthday, Dasy falls in love and pursues a new life after learning she can be separated from Violet. Balancing the beautiful and the perverse with poise, and featuring a beguiling soundtrack by renowned singer-songwriter Enzo Avitabile, Edoardo De Angelis’s third feature is a moving, eccentric fable about the pains of growing up, and the lengths to which one may go in order to fulfill a dream. New York Premiere
Thursday, June 1, 1:45pm & 6:30pm

At War with Love / In Guerra per amore
Pierfrancesco Diliberto, Italy, 2016, 99m
Italian with English subtitles
The latest by Pierfrancesco Diliberto (a.k.a. Pif, Italy’s renowned TV host and political comedian) is a tender comedy set against the backdrop of World War II. Sicilian emigrant Arturo (Pif) is in love with Flora (Miriam Leone), but she’s betrothed to the son of a New York mafia boss. Arturo’s only option is to ask Flora’s father for her hand—however, he still lives in Sicily. Penniless but determined, Arturo takes a “free” passage to Italy by enlisting in the U.S. military at the start of the Allied invasion. Mixing history with outrageous comedy and political satire, At War with Love is like Forrest Gump by way of Mel Brooks—equal parts funny, charming, and irreverent. North American Premiere
Saturday, June 3, 9:15pm
Tuesday, June 6, 2:30pm

Children of the Night / I Figli della notte
Andrea De Sica, Italy/Belgium, 2016, 85m
Italian with English subtitles
Introverted 17-year-old Giulio (Vincenzo Crea) is sent to an elite boarding school in the Alps. Contact to the outside world is limited, and the students—all troubled, some territorial and violent—are constantly surveilled by the administration (which includes an unctuous Fabrizio Rongione). Giulio forms an unlikely bond with the most sullen and rebellious student, Edoardo (Ludovico Succio), with whom he routinely sneaks off to a lascivious nightclub in the forest—but their nighttime excursions don’t go undetected, nor are they as transgressive as initially thought. A twisted coming-of-age story tinged with elements of horror, Andrea De Sica’s feature debut is a tightly wound narrative that defies convention. North American Premiere
Sunday, June 4, 4:00pm
Wednesday, June 7, 4:30pm

The War of the Yokels


The Confessions / Le Confessioni
Roberto Andò, Italy/France, 2016, 104m
Italian, English, and French with English subtitles
Roberto Andò reteams with Toni Servillo in this Hitchcockian mystery-thriller, a spiritual sequel to Andò’s Long Live Freedom (a 2014 Open Roads selection). During a G8 summit in a luxurious German hotel, a trio of outsiders—a rock star (Johan Heldenbergh), a children’s novelist (Connie Nielsen), and a laconic Italian monk (Servillo)—join the Group of Eight at the request of Daniel Roché (Daniel Auteuil), a powerful man with an obscure agenda. Things get even more mysterious when Roché is found dead following a clandestine meeting with the monk. Boasting a star-studded international cast and a perfect blend of suspense, international intrigue, and a subdued but biting sense of humor, The Confessions is a classically composed and wildly entertaining whodunit. New York Premiere
Thursday, June 1, 4:00pm & 9:00pm

Deliver / Liberami
Federica Di Giacomo, Italy, 2016, 90m
Italian with English subtitles
Winner of the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival, Deliver follows Father Cataldo, a Sicilian priest sought out by Catholics who believe themselves to be possessed. In between capturing the religious rites he performs on his clients—by turns frightening, profane, and absurd—Di Giacomo’s documentary peers into the private lives of the afflicted: everyday people drawn to the church out of desperation who discuss their demonic interactions as though they were mere medical conditions. Avoiding cliché and easy sentimentality, Deliver offers a fresh perspective on the psychology underlying the continued practice of exorcism in the modern world. New York Premiere
Sunday, June 4, 6:30pm

Ears / Orecchie
Alessandro Aronadio, Italy, 2016, 90m
Italian with English subtitles
A man wakes up with a painful ringing in his ear and to a note that reads, “Your friend Luigi is dead! I’m sorry. PS: I took the car…” But who’s Luigi? This is just one of the many questions the unnamed protagonist (Daniele Parisi) must ask himself in this absurd tragicomedy by writer-director Alessandro Aronadio (One Life, Maybe Two, a 2010 Open Roads selection). Unfolding in a single day, Ears upsets a hapless man’s routine with a series of hilarious, Kafkaesque situations involving meddlesome nuns, bumbling doctors, and a perplexing array of bureaucratic mishaps. Aronadio’s black-and-white, aspect ratio–shifting second feature is a one-of-a-kind comedy that surprises and delights with unassuming humor and a quirky supporting cast. New York Premiere
Friday, June 2, 3:45pm
Monday, June 5, 9:00pm

Claudio Giovannesi, Italy, 2016, 109m
Italian with English subtitles
Stylishly blending social realism with a coming-of-age story, Claudio Giovannesi’s third feature focuses on a blossoming romance in a juvenile detention center. Newcomer Daphne Scoccia stars as a tough but troubled young girl locked up after committing a robbery, and during her stint she meets Josh (Josciua Algeri), an inmate confined to the boy’s ward in the neighboring building. Their prohibited interactions spiral into a forbidden yet innocent romance that provides an escape from their fraught personal problems. Fiore’s measured treatment of troubled youth recalls the Dardenne brothers, but the film’s assured visual style and breathless romance are entirely the invention of director Giovannesi. New York Premiere
Friday, June 2, 9:00pm
Monday, June 5, 6:45pm

Sweet Dreams


Pawn Street / Le Ultime Cose
Irene Dionisio, Italy/Switzerland/France, 2016, 85m
Italian with English subtitles
Irene Dionisio’s debut feature is a gripping moral drama that weaves together the plights of three people connected to a pawn shop in Turin. Stefano (Fabrizio Falco) is torn between doing the right thing and keeping his new job as a pawnbroker after catching his morally bankrupt manager (Roberto De Francesco) deceiving customers, one of whom is Sandra (Christina Rosamilia), a transgender woman at odds with her past. Outside the pawn shop, Michele (Alfonso Santagata), a kindhearted family man, gets in too deep with some deceitful street hagglers who illegally buy up receipts from the shop’s customers. Lensed by César-winning DP Caroline Champetier (Holy Motors, I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar), Pawn Street tackles complex themes of shame and redemption with naked emotion and vivid realism. North American Premiere
Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm

Sun, Heart, Love / Sole, Cuore, Amore
Daniele Vicari, Italy, 2016, 109m
Italian with English subtitles
In this tragic ode to urban living from writer-director Daniele Vicari, Eli (Isabella Ragonese) puts herself through a crushing daily grind—a two-hour commute from the outskirts of Rome that’s slowly taking a toll on her health—in order to support her unemployed, loving husband and their children. Meanwhile her lifelong best friend Vale (Eva Grieco in her debut role), a dancer living on her own, is faced with her own struggles after taking in a coworker who was beaten by her boyfriend. Beautifully blending melancholy with quiet joy, Vicari’s latest is a sorrowful, sensitively observed study of straphangers caught up in life’s unrelenting demands. North American Premiere
Saturday, June 3, 6:30pm
Wednesday, June 7, 2:00pm

Sweet Dreams / Fai bei sogni
Marco Bellocchio, Italy/France, 2016, 134m
Italian and French with English subtitles
The latest from Marco Bellocchio is this delicate, melancholic, and deeply moving adaptation of Massimo Gramellini’s popular autobiographical novel Sweet Dreams, Little One. Tracing a middle-aged man (Valerio Mastandrea) as he still struggles to come to grips with the sudden loss of his mother when he was nine years old, Sweet Dreams alternates between past and present, memories and dreams, effortlessly weaving together disparate elements of Massimo’s life to yield a profound, poetic study of loss and maternal love. Gracefully photographed by frequent DP Daniele Ciprì (Vincere, Dormant Beauty), this is Bellocchio at his most emotional, but his signature sense of humor and irony are as strong as ever. New York Premiere
Sunday, June 4, 9:00pm
Tuesday, June 6, 8:45pm

Tenderness / La Tenerezza
Gianni Amelio, Italy, 2017, 103m
Italian with English subtitles
The latest by Lamerica director Gianni Amelio explores loneliness, heartbreak, and complicated family relations in modern-day Naples. Renato Carpentieri stars as Lorenzo, an elderly widower estranged from his children who gradually builds a friendship with the new family next door—until a catastrophe pulls them apart. Loosely based on Lorenzo Moreno’s Premio Strega Prize–winning novel The Temptation to Be Happy, Tenderness is a powerfully acted character study as well as an evocative portrait of middle-class Naples, beautifully filmed by Luca Bigazzi (The Great Beauty). North American Premiere
Friday, June 2, 6:30pm
Monday, June 5, 4:30pm

At War With Love


Two Soldiers / Due Soldati
Marco Tullio Giordana, Italy, 2017, 100m
Italian with English subtitles
A grieving woman unexpectedly comes face to face with Naples’ violent Camorra in what could be considered the third installment of Marco Tullio Giordana’s organized crime cycle—including his Golden Globe-nominated One Hundred Steps and 2015’s Lea. Rising star Angela Fontana (one of the leads in Indivisible, this year’s Opening Night film) plays Maria, a young woman planning her marriage to a soldier stationed in Afghanistan (Dario Rea), until his life is tragically cut short. After being left alone in their new, empty apartment, she crosses paths with Salvatore (Daniele Vicorito), a member of the Mafia who hides out in her condominium after a botched hit job. Giordana’s latest is a complex exploration of grief and redemption that evocatively captures the rippling consequences of war. North American Premiere
Friday, June 2, 1:30pm
Tuesday, June 6, 6:30pm

The War of the Yokels / La Guerra dei cafoni
Davide Barletti & Lorenzo Conte, Italy, 2016, 98m
Italian with English subtitles
With an eclectic ensemble cast made up almost entirely of children, Davide Barletti and Lorenzo Conte’s fable about a war between the ruling elite and lower classes, based on the novel by Carlo D’Amicis, plays like a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Goonies. No one really knows why the centuries-old war exists, but after the “yokels” of the underclass carry out a series of disruptive invasions, and bring in a ruthless outsider, things start to escalate violently. Meanwhile, the pitiless leader of the ruling class falls in love with a yokel and begins to question his role in the needless war. Set in the 1970s off the sunbaked coast of Puglia, beautifully photographed by Duccio Cimatti, The War of the Yokels is a rambunctious mixture of social satire, perilous adventure, and low-key fantasy, with energetic performances by its cast of young actors. North American Premiere
Sunday, June 4, 1:30pm
Tuesday, June 6, 4:30pm

Worldly Girl / La Ragazza del Mondo
Marco Danieli, Italy/France, 2016, 101m
Italian with English subtitles
In Marco Danieli’s debut feature, Sara Serraiocco (Salvo) stars as Giulia, a smart young Jehovah’s Witness whose lifestyle is put to the test when she meets Libero (Michele Riondino), an ex-con and son of a recent convert. As much as Giulia wants to pursue a future in mathematics (which goes against her religion), it’s her unexpected attachment to Libero that pulls her from her community. Sensitively portraying the religious community, Danieli’s first feature is an assured, wonderfully acted, and unpredictable celebration of individuality. Worldly Girl premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, where Danieli won the Brian Award (given by the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics!) and stars Serraiocco and Riondino both won Pasinetti Awards for their performances. North American Premiere
Saturday, June 3, 4:00pm