Maria Grazia Cucinotta protagonist of a “metaphysical mystery”


By John

«It is a current film about material and spiritual borders, but also a very ironic work that talks about justice, racism and integration». As Maria Grazia Cucinotta talks about «The lambs can graze in peace» by Beppe Cinoalready in competition at Bif&st in the competitive section Italia FilmFest 2024/New Italian cinema and in theaters from Thursday with Draka Distribution.

In the film with an Apulian soul, set among its centuries-old olive trees, the Madonna of the town appears in a dream to Alfonsina Milletarì (Cucinotta), a singular janitor who loves Pier Paolo Pasolini's films.
The curious thing is that this Madonna appears several times in Alfonsina's dreams and, speaking with a foreign accent, asks her for help because she finds herself buried under a carob tree. The janitor thus turns to her brother Saverio (Massimo Venturiello), with whom she has not spoken for many years, that she begins to dig without finding anything.

Now the problem is that the tree is exactly on the border with the Malavasi land and relations between the two families have been tense for some time. But in the end, after much digging, the statue of a small Madonna comes to light revealing an unexpected family secret.
«This film is a metaphysical mystery aimed at overcoming a culture obsessed with the fetish of property and borders – says the director -. A research where the powerful lever of the sacred brings to light ancient misdeeds to describe a present dominated by prejudices that identify the other, the foreigner, as an enemy. A moral tale that uses magical realism to affirm that something can really be changed. Because change has always been the profound logic of every story.”
And again the director: «The title, inspired by Bach's sonata 208 “The sheep can graze in peace”, became “The lambs can graze in peace” to underline how the sacrificial victims par excellence can grow and find the opportunity to a new balance.”

«I was really happy to return to work with Beppe, a visionary director and poet who manages to transform everything into magic, without giving up precise and strong messages», says Maria Grazia Cucinotta. While Massimo Venturiello underlines: «I have worked with Beppe other times, I had many internal references for this role. He tackles important issues in the best way, with a lightness that makes them immediate and enjoyable.”

Produced by Corrado Azzollini's Draka Production, with the contribution of the Apulia Film Commission and distributed by Draka Distribution, the film was shot entirely in Puglia, in Molfetta and also features Tiziana Schiavarelli, Umberto Sardella, Rossella Leone, Dante Marmone and Valentina in the cast Gadaleta.