A strange and surprising comedy that plays with death by transforming a beautiful rural setting into a nest of serpents
A wonderful film with a delightful ensemble cast
Gente felice is a surprisingly strange film in the panorama of 1950s Italian comedy. Beginning with the central theme: death. Here, wholesome provincial Italy becomes a den of nastiness and malice. The shared hope is not for a more prosperous future, but that one of the elderly folk, who all seem so fantastically resistant, should kick the bucket. A combination of wonderful performances from a delightful ensemble cast, caustic humour and a romantic subplot leaves Gente felice often feeling like a British black comedy. To be rediscovered.
In a small mountainous community of 600 souls, a protest is underway: they want their own cemetery. But the law is clear: a minimum of 30 deaths a year is required, and in this case there have only been 29. As the solution is slow to arrive, there is also time for some romantic interludes.