Marcella Braga in “Exit – Una storia personale” [2010 Italy]

Actor Max Amato’s directorial debut, “Exit, Una Storia Personale” [Eng. Title: Exit - A Personal History] is an ambitious film whose storyline holds quite a bit of promise. Whether it realised its potential is another matter.

The topic is as contemporary as can be at a time when people are seriously debating the ethical and moral dilemmas posed by euthanasia. If it is all about ending one’s suffering, how do we determine they’ve reached the limit beyond which allowing them to live would be considered inhumane. And should such suffering qualify only when it is physical. And how much can family and therapy help in curing mental illness. The film tries to address these issues through its protagonist, with some degree of success. Marco has some serious issues bordering on schizophrenia and had been in therapy for the longest at his clinic. His brother Davide tries his best to help even if he finds it hard reigning Marco’s increasingly psychotic behaviour. Marco knows he is ill, and after a fellow patient kills himself by jumping out of the clinic window, he decides to end his life too but as humanely as possible. He travels to Amsterdam for an assisted suicide. Davide and girlfriend Nina follow hoping to find Marco before it is too late. We are left wondering if one can ever be stopped from taking his life, if he thinks it is his human right.

On the whole it is an honest attempt by Amato to address an issue, and since I hate to be overly critical of directors making their cinematic debut, all I’d say is that depite the decent characterisation and interesting story, the film could have done with some additional work on the screenplay.

Amazon DVD Link


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