The Macaluso Sisters

(Italy/2020—directed by Emma Dante)

Adapted from her prize-winning play of the same name, Emma Dante’s moving, lyrical, decades-traversing drama The Macaluso Sisters first introduces us to a family of five orphaned sisters. Living on the top floor of a distressed building in Palermo in the 1980s, the sisters create and rent out pastel-painted doves to weddings and birthdays to earn their modest living. 

They make the most of their deep familial bonds by looking after and caring for each other in every way they can, including memorable seaside outings in the Sicilian sunshine, until a sudden unexpected event alters the family dynamic, leaving the sisters to grapple with the outcome over the following half-century. 

The delicate balance of sisterhood is tested in this dazzling, generation-spanning three-act adaptation of director Emma Dante’s theatrical triumph; the DFT is delighted to return to big-screen presentations with this emotionally and visually unforgettable family portrait. Winner, 2020 Venice Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast. In Italian with English subtitles. (89 minutes)

“NYT Critic's Pick! Haunting and powerful. Metaphysical grace and magical moments are grounded by the tactile photography, which accentuates the youthful vitality of the sisters.” – Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times

“Tempestuous and touching. The skill with which Dante adapts her own play with three sets of actors and brings it soaring to full cinematic life is remarkable. An exceptionally confident film, beautifully melancholic and extraordinarily moving. The Macaluso sisters are marvelous creatures indeed.”  – Jessica Kiang, Variety

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