“Another World” (“Altromundo”)
Gay in Italy
“Another World” is an experimental film that is somewhere between a documentary and a work of fiction. The film is a collection of monologues which have been edited and adapted and are based on the work of Antonio Venetians and Ricardo Reim and performed by some of Italy’s finest actors.
Since the mid 1980s Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope has condemned homosexuality. His attitude has never changed except to become even more rigid and increasingly apocalyptic tone against gays. In recent years, our demands have raised the conflict with the Catholic Church and it has responded with pages in newspapers containing full statements of prelates and politicians that speak of us in stereotypes, as abstract concepts and not as humans with feelings. This has come down directly and indirectly from the Vatican and the Pope. The reality of male homosexuals in Italy is very sad and even sadder away from the urban centers like Rome, Milan and Naples. The atmosphere all over the country is stifling and that is what we learn from this film.
Denials have been made and lies have been told the truth has been hidden and the gay Italians live in fear of being discovered and publicly outed. This is what happens in a place where there is no difference between church and state. Director Fabiomassimo Lozzi shows what is happening to gay culture in Italy today and his technique of using monologues is very effective, especially because they are so intimate.
The film probably belongs to the genre of experimental film in the way that the director divided his film into Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and then groups his monologues around these topics. We see the joys, heartaches, and political struggles that all gay men face and Italy becomes a microcosm for the world. I think what makes the film so effective is that the dialogue is true and all types of people are included. There is a certain beauty even to the hardest and most brutal moments in the film and we do get a sense of hope. But then again we all know that fighting homophobia is a requirement to a good life.