There's a divide in Italy, the North and the South. Sharper than the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry, the North is epitomised by the industrialised Milan of the original Italian Job, the South by the feudally impoverished Basilicata of the post-war Christ Stopped at Eboli. Both South and North dominate the selection at this year's Italian Film Festival.
The South has staked out opening and closing nights, with Welcome to the South focusing on the regions' rivalries and John Tutturo's musical Passione confining itself to the southern, Vesuvius-shadowed town of Naples. Borderline Rome is represented by Son's Room director Nanni Moretti, who offers absurd comedy Habemus Papam about a new and reluctant Pope. The House by the Medlar Tree, based on the same book as neorealist classic La Terra Trema, tells a generational story in a small fishing village, while in A Second Childhood, a love story brings past into present as an older man's memories fade and draw him slowly to childhood, with his lifelong partner along for the journey.
As Venice slowly empties of its residents, its everyday things displaced by tourist needs, documentary Six Venice follows six Venetians and through them tells the story of the modern city. Sorelle Mai was shot over ten years, with Good Morning Night star Marco Bellocchio's family as its actors, and from closer to home comes an internment story from World War 2 era Australia in We Stick Together.