Raindance 2020 film review: Thou Shalt Not Hate
James R | On 05, Nov 2020
Mauro Mancini’s drama doesn’t exactly have a subtle title, but the film is deceptively understated and thoughtful piece. The film follows Simone (Alessandro Gassman), a well-known, respected Jewish surgeon. One day, while out canoeing, he comes across a car accident and races to help an injured man. Calling the emergency services and helping to stop the bleeding from the man’s wound, he’s the embodiment of a good neighbour showing compassion to a stranger.
Then, he notices something unexpected: a Nazi tattoo on the man’s chest. After starting to help, he stops halfway through and leaves the man to die. But after being caught up in that initial display of cool detachment, he finds himself consumed by guilt for his actions, or lack thereof. And so he goes about trying to make amends, hiring the man’s daughter, Marica (Sara Serraiocco), as his new cleaner.
That decision, though, only brings Simone closer into contact with the man’s family, and tensions soon spring up, as it becomes clear that the man’s Nazi views have been passed on to at least one of his children – the hostile and angry Marcello (Luka Zunic). While things get messy, they’re also far less clear-cut than you might expect, and Mancini’s script finds room to explore the inheritance of prejudices and attitudes on all sides of the situation. With an opening flashback that tees up the film’s generational themes, the result is a timely meditation on hatred, division and reconciliation. While anchored in Gassmann’s superbly expressive performance (which won Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival), this is intentionally an ensemble affair and finds compassion running through veins beneath even the most unexpected surfaces.
Thou Shalt Not Hate streams at 6pm on 5th November. To book a ticket, click here.