Piuma is a moving story about life, life in all it’s drama and comedy: Italian life. I loved it.

Blu Yoshimi and Luigi Fedele play a high school couple named Cate (for those unfamiliar with the language, pronounced “cat’-ay”) and Ferro (which means “iron”) that discover they’re expecting a baby just before the opening scene. Thrust into adulthood, the movie explores the decisions, which they must now make, and their relationships with each other and with their friends and families. It quickly becomes clear that no one in their lives has the answers. Everyone is struggling through this life just as blind as everyone else.

I loved the truth of the film. All the characters are alive and, unlike American comedies, no dialogue or decision seemed forced for the purpose of the story or joke. In fact, there weren’t really jokes as such. We laughed because the author, and director, Roan Johnson was writing about our lives, was recording our conversations, and from the outside we are all hilarious. The theatre was filled with Italians, and me, laughing at ourselves.

The humor is just one thing that made this movie so distinctly Italian. Another was the decision to film this, not in Italian, but in the Roman dialect. This film, by a half Italian director, delights in its native-ness, its inability to be exported. Maybe it should not have been chosen to compete for the prize at an international film festival, but perhaps, given how Italian this film is, how could it have done otherwise?