Easy Living – Love and Faith on French-Italian Border

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
03.05.2021
Easy Living (2019), a film directed by Orso and Peter Miyakawa, tells the story of four people, so different from each other, yet united by a single purpose. Venture and friendship lit up by the warm Italian sun manage to present a complicated issue of migration in the brightest way possible.
Brando (James Miyakawa), a 14-year-old boy, and his step-sister Camilla (Camilla Semino Favro) are by chance bound together. Camilla has to bring Brando to a small town on the French-Italian border, where she smuggles medicine, alcohol and tobacco. This town is a turning point, the reason for the opposites to collide and learn to feel, understand and sympathize.

The small town carries a heavy burden of thousands of ruined fates. Refugees fighting for their lives are stuck in Italy, trying to reunite with their loved ones and build a better life in Europe. Some of them die crossing the border, some of them get arrested, others remain in the slumber of expectation. Elvis (Alberto Boubakar Malanchino) is among the last ones. Having saved the money for the truck to Paris, he was left behind by the greediness of the driver, who demanded to pay more due to the pregnancy of Elvis's wife.
The fourth hero we meet is also a migrant. A legal one this time. "The only war I've ever run from is the one in my head", — says Don in one of the conversations. Don is a soft American boy from a family that has everything but mutual support and understanding. Aspiring to be a painter, he was pushed by his father to professionally play tennis. The insistence of his parents cost Don a lot. Having neither friends nor girlfriends growing up, he ended up with zero social skills and, ironically enough, a high libido. Clearly hurt, Don feels guilty for his dissatisfaction with life.
There is a serious issue hiding behind the mask of Don's comicality. How come you have financial stability, a good job and an attractive appearance and still complain? Seems like the right time for society to understand that external well-being never guarantees an emotional one. Hooking up with his 50-year old clients and being intrusive with his "only friend", who hates him, Don first evokes the viewer's disgust, then sympathy and, finally, love. And he's indeed a reason for a good laugh. The scene when he bursts in tears while saying that Don is short for Donald ( small political satire here ) alone is a marrow of comedy.

The whole movie is imbued with love and faith. Elvis's love for his wife, Brando's faith in humanity, Camila's faith in Don, Don's love for Camilla and, of course, their mutual faith in the success of the operation. The four decide to help Elvis cross the border and come up with the most bonkers ideas. The anticipation adds spice to the sweetness of the movie. The viewer forms an attachment to the heroes and it's surely stressful to watch them driving up to the custom-house. What's the outcome gonna be?
But everything in Easy Living, from colors to dialogues, screams optimism. And the Italian sun seems to never fade away. Andrey Nuzhnyy, DOP of the movie, defines Easy Living as a fairy tale. And he's definitely right. It evokes the simplest feelings and teaches the simplest lessons just as any good children's book. But without them, we will no longer be human. So living is indeed easy as all we need is love and faith.
 
Easy Living – Love and Faith on French-Italian Border

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
03.05.2021
Easy Living (2019), a film directed by Orso and Peter Miyakawa, tells the story of four people, so different from each other, yet united by a single purpose. Venture and friendship lit up by the warm Italian sun manage to present a complicated issue of migration in the brightest way possible.
Brando (James Miyakawa), a 14-year-old boy, and his step-sister Camilla (Camilla Semino Favro) are by chance bound together. Camilla has to bring Brando to a small town on the French-Italian border, where she smuggles medicine, alcohol and tobacco. This town is a turning point, the reason for the opposites to collide and learn to feel, understand and sympathize.

The small town carries a heavy burden of thousands of ruined fates. Refugees fighting for their lives are stuck in Italy, trying to reunite with their loved ones and build a better life in Europe. Some of them die crossing the border, some of them get arrested, others remain in the slumber of expectation. Elvis (Alberto Boubakar Malanchino) is among the last ones. Having saved the money for the truck to Paris, he was left behind by the greediness of the driver, who demanded to pay more due to the pregnancy of Elvis's wife.
The fourth hero we meet is also a migrant. A legal one this time. "The only war I've ever run from is the one in my head", — says Don in one of the conversations. Don is a soft American boy from a family that has everything but mutual support and understanding. Aspiring to be a painter, he was pushed by his father to professionally play tennis. The insistence of his parents cost Don a lot. Having neither friends nor girlfriends growing up, he ended up with zero social skills and, ironically enough, a high libido. Clearly hurt, Don feels guilty for his dissatisfaction with life.

There is a serious issue hiding behind the mask of Don's comicality. How come you have financial stability, a good job and an attractive appearance and still complain? Seems like the right time for society to understand that external well-being never guarantees an emotional one. Hooking up with his 50-year old clients and being intrusive with his "only friend", who hates him, Don first evokes the viewer's disgust, then sympathy and, finally, love. And he's indeed a reason for a good laugh. The scene when he bursts in tears while saying that Don is short for Donald ( small political satire here ) alone is a marrow of comedy.

The whole movie is imbued with love and faith. Elvis's love for his wife, Brando's faith in humanity, Camila's faith in Don, Don's love for Camilla and, of course, their mutual faith in the success of the operation. The four decide to help Elvis cross the border and come up with the most bonkers ideas. The anticipation adds spice to the sweetness of the movie. The viewer forms an attachment to the heroes and it's surely stressful to watch them driving up to the custom-house. What's the outcome gonna be?
But everything in Easy Living, from colors to dialogues, screams optimism. And the Italian sun seems to never fade away. Andrey Nuzhnyy, DOP of the movie, defines Easy Living as a fairy tale. And he's definitely right. It evokes the simplest feelings and teaches the simplest lessons just as any good children's book. But without them, we will no longer be human. So living is indeed easy as all we need is love and faith.
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