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The Stuff of Dreams

Art and nature are the touchstones of this gloriously theatrical, gorgeously scenic spin on “The Tempest.” A shipwreck makes for strange stage-fellows when a group of convicted Camorra criminals and a ragtag company of actors wash up together on the Mediterranean prison island where warden Don Vincenzo (Carpentieri) lives with his restless daughter Miranda. When the gangsters infiltrate the theatrical troupe, Don Vincenzo commands them to put on a performance of “The Tempest” in order to separate the thugs from the thespians. Writer-director Cabiddu draws inspiration from both Shakespeare and Eduardo de Filippo, the great Neapolitan playwright whose influence is seen in the film’s enchanting mixture of the earthy and the fanciful. Veteran actor Rubini excels as the hangdog leader of the troupe, but the real star of the film is the unspoiled island of Asinara off the northwest tip of Sardinia.

The Stuff of Dreams