Film Review:Italy: Love it or Leave it (2011)



Check out a review of the Italian Film, Italy: Love it or Leave it!

Italy: Love it or Leave it (2011)

Genre: Italian Documentary, Drama, Romance and Adventure

Cast: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi, Andrea Camilleri, Nichi Vendola and Frank Dabell

Director: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi

Synopsis: Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi star as themselves. They are two young Italians who have witnessed many of their friends leave Italy to get jobs, escape political corruption and find a new homeland. Together they go on a six-month journey across Italy to decide if they too should leave Italy. While traveling throughout the beautiful cities and countryside of Italy they interview Italians from all walks of live.  To their surprise, they begin to understand events that  prompted many of their friends to relocate, and  they meet passionate, people committed to the restoration of Italy.


This foreign film was a delightful surprise and a real eye opener. Peppy music punctuates narration of their fantastic car journey which borders between serious and comical. Ranging from their search to find George Clooney, trying to learn speak German in case they decide to relocate, and meeting ordinary Italians. Watching this serious film actually felt light hearted. I felt as though I took a backstage tour of the real Italy which the average tourist never sees. In one moment, I’m shocked and laughing  to find out that swimming in the beautiful Lake Cuomo is only beautiful on the surface because it is prohibited to swim in to avoid swimming in waste. It turns out that Italy is full of contradictions beyond the stunning beauty, history, architecture, and cuisine. The film never lags at it  artfully intrudes  controversial topics  in a non-threatening manner. It’s funny, when their Prime Minister is embroiled in a sex scandal, and the TV shows are filled with men in suits next to women in bikinis. There are Mafia over-run areas, extreme unemployment and good people determined to help their country. The movie does not feel heavy or depressing. Each scene highlights the complicated choice Luca and Gustav face.My favorite scene illustrates the complexity of life in Italy as the first elected devoutly Catholic, Communist, and openly Gay Mayor in Italy explains that he believes, “my Italy is not just a flag, or a tourist destination, instead,it’s a community built on hope!” Italy, do they love it or leave it? I won’t spoil the end for you. Instead, If you are in the mood for something different I suggest taking a trip with Gustav and Luca to experience Italy from a new perspective.