Program Details

Buona Sera Cinema:  Contemporary Italian Film

Shelly Isaacs
Movies / Storytelling
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Today's most prominent Italian filmmakers have successfully revived and imbued their cinema with stories that reflect their history, their present problems and the human condition, warts and all. These four films explore the cultural conundrum of a country, from a unique view of the rise of Mussolini, a tragic look at the lives and loves of the upper strata of society, how “reality television” can adversely affect a common man’s vision of the world he lives in, to a revealing portrait of the effects of capitalism run wild.


  1. Vincere: The story of Ida Dalser, who fell in love with Mussolini, supported him while unemployed in the early 1910s, presumably married him, bore him a son, and both were persecuted, and their existence suppressed by “Il Duce.”
  2. I am Love: In a tale of passion, Emma left Russia to live with her Italian husband, the scion of a powerful industrial family. A respected mother of three who feels unfulfilled becomes attracted to her son’s best friend.
  3. Reality: In a searing satire of reality TV, Luciano, a charming fishmonger, has an unexpected and sudden obsession with becoming a contestant on a reality show, only to slip down a rabbit hole of skewed perception and paranoia.
  4. Human Capital: The destinies of two families and two generations become entwined in a tale of ambition, greed, desire and social inequality, all brought about by a fatal accident on Christmas Eve.

About the Instructor

  • Shelly Isaacs is the founder and host for Cafe Cinematheque International, sharing his passion for foreign language film in venues throughout South Florida. As a creative director/writer/producer and director in advertising, Isaacs specialized in film, TV, and radio promotions. Shelly holds an MA in Media Ecology Studies from New York University, where he taught graduate-level courses in cultural studies with an emphasis on film. In 2009 he launched Cinematheque at Sea, making his program available on luxury cruises throughout the world.

Upcoming programs presented by Shelly Isaacs.

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