The Session is Open (L'Udienza e aperta)

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Acclaimed documentarist Vincenzo Marra's work This Session is Open constitutes an exercise in cinema direct filmmaking at its purest. Sans narration or any discernible viewpoint, the picture remains stringently objective in its inside portrayal of an Italian courtroom, during the assassination trial of a mafia unit called the 'Neapolitan Camorra.' Nonetheless, within this objective framework, eccentricities and unsettling aspects of the system do come to light, which have purportedly rattled the chains of Italian viewers. Marra introduces his audience to the quirky key players of the trial, from the warm, embracing and aristocratic Jury President, to the stressed-out state prosecutor, to the hugely disorganized defense attorney, a lifelong Catholic yet a devoted supporter of the Camorra. Meanwhile, a number of foibles occur, including the disappearance of critical evidence, several cases in which the advising magistrate is accidentally locked out of her office, and an absurd number of meal breaks in which everyone pauses to enjoy wine and salami. The film thus ultimately points, by default, to the absurdities within the Italian judicial system and becomes a cry for greater efficiency. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Session is Open (L'Udienza e aperta)

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  • Fairly compelling despite its shaky video footage; the people portrayed are outspoken characters with their own ideas of justice and politics, two opposites that --especially in Italy-- are all but separate.

    Sep 15, 2006 | Full Review…

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