Mario Martone’s drama “Capri – Revolution” looks back at a period in Capri just before the onset of the First World War, to tell a story of a young woman becoming an agent of change within the island’s conservative community.
One evening, while looking for one of her goats that wandered off, goatherd Lucia (Marianna Fontana) ends up on the other side of the ridge of her rocky island. When she finally catches up with the goat, she notices to her bewilderment a group of naked foreigners gazing reverently at the setting sun. She hurries back before anyone from her village could know she was there.
After her ill father dies, her two brothers become head of the household and impose restrictions on Lucia’s freedoms, now that she’s no longer a young girl. Much to the surprise of their mum (Donatella Finocchiaro), they go as far as to choose a wealthier, albeit older groom for their sister. Lucia however, makes her displeasure at the proposal felt in no uncertain terms and openly rebels against the brothers.
During this time, Lucia also keeps frequenting the ridge to observe the naked foreigners from a distance. She soon encounters one of its charismatic members, Seybu (Reinout Scholten van Aschat), an artist and mystic, who happens to be the leader of the naturist collective made up largely of educated (and privileged) young northern Europeans.
Despite being illiterate, Lucia is increasingly drawn towards the collective, who welcome her with open arms. They teach her how to read and before long, she flees home and the villagers’ constant taunts alluding to her ‘loose morals’ to live in the commune. But even in this seeming Utopia, frictions and factions with conflicting ideologies begin to appear, along with headwinds of a war that’ll change the island and its inhabitants’ lives for ever…
Martone’s film impeccably captures the beauty and simplicity of Capri and the people before its tourist invasion, and it breezes through the narrative without getting too much involved in characterisation. While it is quite appealing to watch beautiful young people in the nude enacting a Mattisse or Manet style art piece, the film does feel surprisingly lightweight on the whole, and it’s hard to take any of Sebu’s philosophical musings seriously. The film nevertheless collected a handful of awards in Italy and is easy on the eye and ears, deserving its Recommended Viewing tag.
The Nudity: Marianna Fontana, Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Jenna Thiam, Lola Klamroth, and others
The film features extensive scenes of frontal nudity from main and supporting cast, and is perhaps my reason for choosing to write about it, despite there being other films that have either moved or affected me more profoundly during my long (and still ongoing) hiatus. Save one sex scene shot from afar, the rest of the nudity in the film is of a liberating and romanticist kind most agreeable to thirstyrabbit. 😉