Director: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Stars: Marianna Raschilla, Claudia Pandolfi, Sergio Rubin
Rating: ***

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A quirky feminist comedy about teenage Italian communists obsessed with the space race in the early 60s. Susanna Nicchiarelli’s charmingly quirky coming-of-age tale concerns a teen girl and budding communist struggling to find first love and independence, while also dealing with her developmentally delayed, space-obsessed brother. Nicchiarelli nimbly avoids drippy sentimentalism with a mischievous sense of humour and some incredibly strong performances from her young actors. Though her attempts to tie her fictional story with archival footage of the space race feels strained, the director’s playful and truthful presentation of adolescent angst provides a strong enough emotional core to make her occasional missteps feel insubstantial.

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