SANGUE VIVO (Living Blood) directed by Edoardo Winspeare (Italy, 2000)
Living Blood

Salento in Apulia is, like many regions of Italy, a place full of contradictions. There is beautifully rugged coastal scenery, a strong belief in the importance of family and tradition  and a pride in local customs, notably the ‘pizzica’ dance with its trance-like rhythms.

But there’s also an undercurrent of drug culture and criminality which, in times of economic crisis will only continue to thrive. Winspeare’s film shows both sides of the coin.


Edoardo Winspeare

He uses mostly non professional actors who speak the local dialect, a language of its own as evidenced by the fact that it needs Italian subtitles.  This gives a strong sense of authenticity to a story of two brothers, Pino and Donato, who both fall in with the local mafiosi with tragic consequences.

I found the film more interesting for its depiction of the region than for the plot with is somewhat disjointed and lacking a clear focus.

I was particularly interested to read of the thinking behind the movie. In interviews I read online Winspeare, born in 1965,  has very clear opinions about how and why modern Italy is losing its way.  These are a couple of my rough translations from his comments:

“We have lost almost all sense of our rights and common decency.We follow what we see on TV without thinking if this is right or not – this becomes a model for our lives but the level is very low  – dominated by naked women, reality-shows and soap-operas……I would like Italians to wake up and see what a wonderful country they are part of  – to become more aware of beauty rather than trash”.