Lubo 2023 Movie Review
A nomadic family, in a neutral nation. Such a slippery concept, that of neutrality during the Second World War on the part of Switzerland, often addressed and problematized in other fields, but which in the history of a street artist who came in 1939, just on the eve of the outbreak of the conflict forcibly recruited, like many others, to defend the borders from a possible aggression by Nazi Germany, becomes even more ambiguous. Is called Lubois of Jenisch ethnicity and is told in the cinema by Giorgio Dirittiin an adaptation of the book The sower Of Mario Cavatore. Very freely, as they say in these cases, because the breath given to this character manages to tell it over fifteen years, going through the war and then leading him to experience the aftermath too, the moment of rebirth and awakening, when however the weight of its drama makes life still dominated by the past.
The drama is quickly told and told by the Emilian director, after some sunny initial sequences that take us together with his family, all musicians and singers, capable of monopolizing with their caravan the attention of the Swiss towns in which they travel and perform. The postcard arrives calling him back to the army, and he discovers shortly afterwards that his wife died trying to prevent the police from taking away their three young children, torn from their family of origin as they were street children deemed at risk by the authorities. The solution? Have them raised by the state, with a re-education program at the confederal level managed by special colleges.
An event that Lubo will never overcome, despite starting a public life increasingly distant from internal torment, a dissimulation, to remain in the form of resistance of other minorities precisely in those years. In the carousel of emotions and shades of this fresco of life, and as such full of conflicts and regrets, in the central part the film takes on the contours of an unusual revenge film, in which Lubo seduces some women in the cities in which in the meantime he presents himself under a false Austrian identity, after having made a gesture that will mark his giving in to the less noble instincts of human nature. He seems to want to have children with his lovers, outside of marriage, in a mad rush to rebalance his identity, in an attempt to give a future to the Jenischs, and in some way give new life to his childrenwhich he will always try to find again.
Lubo is a nomadic character in every fiber of his soul and bodynot only culturally, forced into movement and energy, consumed by passion, with its own rigorous moral code, as well as an idea of justice, which responds to every ambiguity with a punitive response towards himself. Franz Rogowski, now at home in our cinema, is the right actor to make the most of these contradictions without the need for too many words. A story that talks about identity, in years in which nationalism has exploded the potential of pure evil to its maximum, in a reality like Switzerland, traditionally welcoming and multi-identitarian, even more so during the conflict, a place of stubborn meeting and trade even of enemies who were fighting elsewhere.
Diritti gives Lubo, and with him to the persecuted minorities, a future and new horizons, despite loneliness looming, and the past always being an impossible companion to overcome.