A teacher discovers his calling. Marco relocates to Palermo from Milan and takes a job teaching in a reform school while he waits for a high school position. He tries to understand and motivate his handful of students, reading them colloquial poetry, encouraging them to stand up for their rights, finding out about their histories. Natale, in for murder, enamored of the Mafia, the King Rat within the group; Mery, a drag queen, arrested for assault when defending himself, in love with Mario and, in daylight, rejected by all; Pietro, illiterate, muscular, believing his destiny is set; the callow Claudio, vulnerable, learning to harden himself. What can Mario learn and do in such a short time?
I saw the movie 15 years ago, so I don’t have a perfect recollection of it. However, I would like to leave some remarks.
“Mery per Sempre” is the first of a two movie sequence by Marco Risi on the lives of “street-kids” in Palermo, the second one being “Ragazzi Fuori”.
The character of “Mery” was an extremely controversial and debated one at the time. Being a transvestite in the late 80’s would have been difficult everywhere, but in Palermo, where the Catholic Church is amazingly strong, very influential in every aspect of every day life and diffused in the territory, these difficulties were at a higher level, because of the involved social stigma.
Most of the actors are not professionals. They are real “street-kids”, that were asked to perform “themselves” in these two features. What is really sad, is that many of them in their real lives kept on ending up in prison with more and more serious charges. Some also died, either killed in some gang related homicides or because of drug abuse.
The kids talk in a very strong dialect. I am from the North of Italy, while the main characters are from Sicily. When I watched the movie with my friends in Milan, we could not understand a single word, and we had to turn on the closed captions for the hearing impaired (which luckily were in plain Italian) to understand most of the dialogues. This is to say that the director has been very honest in this respect, making the people talk as they would be doing in their “turf”.
Unfortunately, the movie describes in a very precise and realistic way the poor neighborhoods of Palermo, which are not very different from the ones you would find in other large Italian cities (particularly in the South, which is economically disadvantaged).
Director: Marco Risi
Writers: Aurelio Grimaldi (novel), Stefano Rulli (screenplay), Sandro Petraglia (screenplay)
Stars: Michele Placido, Claudio Amendola, Francesco Benigno
Country of origin: Italy
Also known as: Mary Forever
Filming locations: Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 4
File size : 1.22 GiB
Duration : 1 h 41 min
Overall bit rate : 1 717 kb/s