chapter  20
9 Pages

Mery Per Sempre

Summary Mery Per Sempre (Forever Mary) broke many rules. The film was rejected by distributors prior to production, leaving producer Claudio Bonivento to finance it himself, with the help of a loan from Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. The subject matter was new and, at first sight, not promising for a feature film. The story is set in the most depressed environment in Sicily and among the leading characters is a group of young lawbreakers, including a transvestite prostitute, a mafia murderer and an habitual criminal. Given these ingredients, a television sale seemed unlikely. Apart from a small professional cast, headed by Michele Placido, the film featured non-professional actors, including genuine inmates of a Sicilian reform school. The film was shot in a quasi-documentary, realist sryle which had long been out of fashion in Italian cinema, which for many years had relied on cheap and cheerful comedies. In addition, the intensely local interest and flavour of the film did not bode well for international sales.