Giovanna's Father / Il papà di Giovanna (2008)

3.0 out of 5

Haunting and beautifully acted Italian drama about a homicide, and the subsequent emotionally grueling ordeal a father must survive, watching his socially inept daughter be persecuted, and worse, characterized, as a killer with no hope of redemption. More fascinating than all the sorting through clues to reveal the killer’s identity is the suspense in seeing just how bad things will turn out for the whole family. The teenage actress is devastating as the socially maligned daughter, a girl easily stigmatized through both social prejudice and other people’s cruelty. The devastated father is equally compelling but far more sympathetic. This mostly due to his kindness and, despite a helpless appearance, the ability to believe in a better future at all costs.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics