‘Summer of Giacomo’ portrays adolescence perfectly

Summer of Giacomo portrays adolescence perfectly

Avantika Khatri

Image used under the fair use doctrine from http://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/3774-lestate-di-giacomo/ 
Summer of Giacomo” was everything a film should be: charming, funny and thoughtful. Most of the Italian documentary took place over one lazy, summer day.
The camera, up until the final scene, always panned on either of the main characters – Giacomo or Stefania – or both of them, placing a greater emphasis on the story and messages than on meaningless blather.
Giacomo was born deaf and just recently underwent a surgery to fix it. Though he still does not hear well, he can hear most sounds now. As a reminder of Giacomo’s unique condition, director Alessandro Comodin still sharpened many sounds throughout the movie, filled with humor derived from Giacomo’s newfound ability to hear and the honesty and simplicity about him. But the movie focused less on his new introduction into the world than it did on growing up.
Instead, his attempts to understand the world through sound parallel his struggles to understand the world as an adolescent approaching adulthood. With good humor and a radiant personality, Giacomo was a relatable and impish adolescent. His challenges represented those most individuals traverse while approaching adulthood.
The casual and relaxed interactions between Giacomo and Stefania imply this summer day is one of many similar ones. At the beginning, Comodin spent several minutes shooting Giacomo and Stefania as they lost themselves while searching for a river in the woods.
The lost theme reappears on a deeper level toward the end when Giacomo reveals his belief that unhappiness will plague him for his entire life. Stefania tells him he takes things too seriously; happiness is in appreciating moments. The scene exposes the two as adolescents searching for meaning and joy in life, while only coincidentally crossing paths.
In the final scene, director Alessandro Comodin throws a curveball, which reveals an even deeper message. Adolescence is about the phases of one’s life – the people a person meets to become who he is meant to be. Though the ending of a phase is often sad, it’s a part of life. It becomes a memory.
You can still catch “Summer of Giacomo” at True/False Saturday 12:30 p.m. at Forrest Theater or Sunday 12:30 p.m. at Little Ragtag.
By Avantika Khatri