On My Skin
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On My Skin

Fresh off its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, On My Skin arrives stateside on Netflix. It’s an Italian film about the infamous case of Stefano Cucchi.  22 July On Oct. 15, 2009, Stefano was arrested on a minor drug charge. He was taken into custody by the Carabinieri and a week later Stefano died. Stefano’s case made waves in Italy and was the subject of multiple trials in an attempt to understand what happened. Whether it’s Italy or the United States, or anywhere else, police brutality knows no borders. On My Skin is set up to be a movie of the moment, for the moment. Instead, it is frustratingly thin. Director Alessio Cremonini is credited to a straight retelling that the movie falls short-he reads a newspaper story to the audience.

On the night of Stefano’s arrest, the Carabinieri, Italy’s military police, made a routine stop. Stefano goes into custody in good health. By the time I made it to his jail cell he is bruised and much worse for wear. But I have refuses to formally accuse the Carabinieri officers out of fear of retaliation. Between Stefano’s stubbornness and the half-hearted police and medical staff, his condition worsens until his death. On the outside, Stefano’s family gets tangled up in red tape, so they can not get him. We watch as Stefano’s health collapses. His case is not unique, however. Stefano Cold Skin was Italy’s 148th person to die in police custody in 2009. Cremonini’s focus is so narrow that it forgoes the opportunity to effectively indict the system like a stronger film would.

That last point tied me in knots as I sat down to write this review. I do not like to judge films for what I think they should be about. I always have the old bit of Roger Ebert wisdom in my head that reminds me to judge films on whether they accomplish Venom what they set out to do. The problem for me is that I can not figure out the film’s endgame. For most of its runtime, we are right there with Stefano. The only time we are not with Stefano is at the most important moment when I suffers his fatal fatal injuries. It is heavily implied that the Carabinieri officers beat him. We see Stefano and the officers enter a room then the scene fades. This feels like a missed opportunity for On My Skin to take a sta

Duration: 100 min


IMDb: 7.4

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On My Skin