Even though summer is slowly coming to an end, there is still time to daydream about a Mediterranean holiday while waiting for the leaves to turn golden and red and the sweater weather to come. And where better than Sicily, the jewel of the Mediterranean?
Rich in history and culture, Sicily is the place renowned for its food and a popular tourist destination. But do not worry if you cannot jump on a plane right now. Here are 3 films that take place on this beautiful Italian island that will allow you to travel without even leaving your room.
Malèna (2000), directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
In a small town in Sicily, at the beginning of the World War II, a young boy named Renato catches sight of beautiful Malena, the object of desire of all the men in town, as well as jealousy and scorn of women. As the boy’s obsession with her grows and he swears to protect her, we follow Malena as she faces one adversity after another. Her dealing with loneliness, death, hatred, poverty and much more is all seen through the adolescent eyes of Renato discovering of his own sexuality. It’s a heartbreaking story that addresses misogyny of both men and women and how cruel people can be.
Divorce Italian Style (1961), directed by Pietro Germi
Fernando, a Sicilian nobleman, has a loving, loyal wife that he is tired of. His eyes turn instead to his beautiful young cousin. Knowing that divorce isn’t legal, he conceives a plan to get rid of his devoted wife by luring her into an affair. If then he murders an adulterous woman, Fernando is guaranteed to get a light sentence and then will be free to reunite with his lover. This comedic take on the Catholic values of Sicily and Italy, corrupt morals and hypocrisy stars the icon of Italian cinema – Marcello Mastroianni. If you want to watch a fun classic film that follows marital affairs in a Sicilian palazzo, you’ve found the one!
L’Avventura (1960), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
A group of rich friends go on a boat cruise on the Mediterranean that ends abruptly when one of the women disappears. Her boyfriend Sandro and close friend Claudia start searching for the missing Anna along with the police. As they travel from one Sicilian town to another to investigate the disappearance, their feelings for each other become stronger and stronger. However, Claudia and Sandro’s relationship is tainted with guilt and anxiety about Anna. Antonioni captures loneliness and disquiet like no other filmmaker while simultaneously showing the beauty of rocky islands and Sicilian landscapes.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
The Leopard (1963)
The Godfather trilogy (1972, 1974, 1990)