On The Edge - Ivano De Matteo - Italy
5 Iconic Movies About Prostitutes
On The Edge (La bella gente, 2009)
Director: Ivano De Matteo
A progressive and cultured couple decides to help a young prostitute, but the division of the social class quickly disturbs their lives. Eurochannel premiers On The Edge.
Alfredo and Susanna are a couple in their fifties with a comfortable and culturally stimulating life. They’re cultured, open-minded and have a youthful air, quick witticism and an intelligent gaze. He is an architect and she is a psychologist, who takes care of women who have suffered domestic violence and abuse. They live in Rome but spend the weekends on their estate in the Umbrian countryside, where they love to spend their days taking walks in the woods or relaxing by the pool with a good read.
Very often Susanna goes shopping in the village and one day, on the way back, she notices a young prostitute being bullied by a man on the edge of the road. This image remains etched in Susanna's mind, to the point of deciding to help her by initially taking her to her home and then to Rome to guarantee her a better future. Albeit amid multiple uncertainties and despite the narrow-mindedness of a couple of friends, everything seems to be going well, but an unexpected turn of events disturbs the household peace.
This film tells the story of two distant worlds. On the one hand that of the prostitution of Eastern women, and on the other that of the Roman bourgeoisie. Susanna is an open-minded, progressive woman who decides to welcome and offer an escape to Nadja. She tries to reduce the distance between them, perhaps with a pinch of selfishness, without, however, fully pondering her decision. Inevitably, the initial balances fail, and little by little the distance between these two distant worlds grows large.
Susanna is happily married and still in love with Alfredo, but basically hers is a sad life, without motivation. Surrounded by people of the same kind as her, she experiences boredom. Being able to help Nadja makes her happy. Happy at first, but insecure, suffering and fragile later. Nadja, on the other hand, is a defenseless young woman, resigned to her fate, who finds in Susanna and Alfredo a mirage of salvation, a possibility of redemption that ends in the worst outcome imaginable: a second abandonment. Nadja represents the disenchanted and hopeless vision of the current society. The emblem of this is the final scene in which she collects her hair in a ponytail and puts on lipstick.
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