If you can get to one of the Open Roads screenings of DELTA do so. This is a moody thriller that was shot with a big screen in mind. (And yes it will look good on your TV but you will be in the delta if you see it on the big screen)
The film is the story of a depressed delta area in the north of Italy. Industry wants to start polluting the waters again with their waste and the fishermen are struggling to catch enough fish. One fisherman is getting around traditional methods of getting fish by using electricity. This provides enough fish but rapidly decreases their population. It’s a move that gets him on the radar of a game warden who begins to play a game of cat and mouse with him.
This is a visually stunning thriller that looks so good that you can smell the waters and feel the rain on your face. Few films of the last decade or so have looked this good. Every shot is absolutely perfect and adds volumes to story the film is telling. This film really should be up for an Oscar for cinematography, if not for other things as well.
The reality is this is a bleak tale where no one really wins. You have the feeling the fishermen and their families are pretty much doomed, their way of life slipping away. The wardens are fighting a no win battle since all they are doing is delaying the inevitable. The bleakness of the situation results in a tale that is a more like a film noir than many of the classic film noirs.
I want to try and compare DELTA to other films but that really isn’t possible. Sure certain films remind me of this film or novel or that, but it is only a shot or a moment. The reality is DELTA is its own thing. It may pull things from elsewhere, but the way it puts them all together is uniquely its own doing.
I absolutely loved this film. I loved the look, I loved the feel. I just loved that it felt like a honest to god real movie instead of a prepackaged product that is put out just to turn a buck. …
Actually …this feels like one of the great thrillers of the 1970’s where the director was going for broke by making a gritty film that feel lived in.
I can’t recommend this film enough. One of the best films at Open Roads.