ROAD TO THE LEMON GROVE (DVD)
Title: ROAD TO THE LEMON GROVE
Catalogue Number: MVD4743D
LANGUAGE: English with some Italian
Road to the Lemon Grove (SICILY) is sure to make a mark with the mature audience from the first families of immigrants and for their next generations.
The music is fantastic throughout the movie.
Starring Burt Young (Rocky), Nick Mancuso (Ticket to Heaven), Rossella Brescia (Italian TV star and Italy’s Prima Ballerina), Charly Chiarelli (Sicilian “Spalding Grey”), Loreena McKennitt (Multi-Platinum Recording Artist) and Tomaso Sanelli (Titans). The film is a humourous yet touching look at the loss of culture and identity that can only be rekindled by reconnecting with the heart of who we are.
Road to the Lemon Grove è una storia commovente su un padre siciliano deceduto che cerca di negoziare la sua strada per il paradiso. Ma l’unico modo è tornare indietro e riparare il suo rapporto con il figlio riluttante, riunire la sua famiglia in conflitto in Sicilia e aiutare tutti a trovare l’amore in posti che non avrebbero mai immaginato.
Road to the Lemon Grove is a heartwarming story about a deceased Sicilian father trying to negotiate his way into heaven. But the only way in is to first go back and repair his relationship with his reluctant son, reunite his feuding family back in Sicily, and help all find love in places they never imagined.
Road to the Lemon Grove Pays Homage to the Italian Experience (SICILY)
In the narrative, an old-world Sicilian father tries to negotiate his way into heaven after he dies. However, God won’t allow the man in until he repairs his relationship with his son and gets his son to reunite two family factions after a bitter fight over a lemon grove. Throughout the film, the audience is reminded of the importance of reconnecting with family roots to better understand who we are. This is demonstrated in particular by the poignant moments between the deceased father, Antonio, and his son Calogero, a linguistics professor.
The comedic yet touching scenes expose the all-too-familiar loss of culture and identity. Yet, Road to the Lemon Grove will resonate with audiences that are sensitive to their own stories of immigration, unresolved family issues, and love found in unexpected places.
While it is often the stories about the pain of discrimination that new immigrants relate, Hildebrand turns these into gentle comedic moments – for example, when young Calogero, played by Tomaso Sanelli, reads “workmen’s compensation board” as “workmen’s constipation board.” Alongside the comedy, Hildebrand incorporates concerns familiar to new immigrant families: parents’ fears that their children will lose their language and culture, and the struggle to understand children who adopt the culture of their new home. Throughout the movie, no matter how long ago someone immigrated, everyone continues to gather and tell stories over home-cooked pasta and red wine – all flavoured by memories of the “old country.”
The dialogue in the film is generously sprinkled with Italian phrases, and at times subtitles are used to ensure that English-speaking audiences are not left out of the conversation. The use of Italian dialogue is a testament to the endurance of the language among Italian-Canadians, despite the arrival to Canada of many as far back as the 1940s and 1950s.
No movie is complete without a love interest, and this movie actually has three: the love of a father and son; the love of country; and Calogero’s unrequited love for the famous Maria Miosogno, played by the real-world Italian radio and TV personality, model, dancer and celebrity Rossella Brescia. Besides Charly Chiarelli (called the “Sicilian Spalding Grey” by the Edmonton Journal) who plays the dual role of Antonio and Calogero, the movie stars Burt Young (of Rocky fame), Nick Mancuso (Ticket to Heaven), multi-platinum recording artist Loreena McKennitt, and Tomaso Sanelli (Titans).
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