Director: Roberta Torre
Screenwriters: Roberta Torre

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Even in this world of movies packed with mafia wives of all shapes and sizes, there has never been anyone quite like the title character in Roberta Torre's virtuosic, tightly wound foray into Sicilian family codes and impossible love. Full of lush detail and daring artistic choices, Angela traces one woman's quiet, taut assertion of power and control despite her confined role in a decidedly man's world.

In 1984 Palermo, Angela Parlagreco, a tough, sloe-eyed beauty dressed to the nines, navigates the nooks and crannies of the market district, expertly running drugs for her husband's "shoe business." Fulfilling her illegal duties as matter-of-factly as if they were the laundry, she watches and observes, always cool, always poker faced, as the men conduct their shady dealings among mountains of shoe boxes. Silently craving new horizons, Angela gradually, almost willfully, capitulates to her desire for her husband's velvety assistant, Masino, though this betrayal might possibly end in tragedy.

Maximizing filmic language to convey Angela's nuanced, first-person experience, Torre sublimely introduces fractured, nonlinear editing as the order in Angela's universe dissolves. Flashes of red in the dark hues of Angela's reality express the passion and change quietly boiling up in her, while the shift to blue tones marks her soulful maturity as she lives with the consequences of her transgressions.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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