Director Edoardo De Angelis’ moving drama about international child trafficking, Il Vizio Della Speranza (The Vice of Hope) was the recipient of this year’s People’s Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival, an honour chosen by the viewers attending the festival through audience votes.
The director and screenwriter has been making films in Italy since the age of 19. Il Vizio Della Speranza had its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, where the festival’s artistic director praised its “impressive emotional power.”
The film’s heroine is Maria (Pina Turco), a resilient young woman who transports pregnant women to a site where they will give birth and release their babies to a black market adoption ring. The hopelessness of Maria and her surrogate mothers is expressed indirectly and without moralising; we simply watch Maria go about her grim daily routine. De Angelis explained that this film uses the faces, bodies, and gestures of its actors as a “thematic vehicle” to tell much of the story, revealing “…the injured beauty of human beings as they wait for something or someone, desperate people clinging to one last hope; finally, the body expresses the desire of the soul to subvert the order of desperation, through resistance, and at the right time, rebellion.”
The Rome Film Festival runs from 18-28 October at venues around the city.