Convinced her brother is still alive, 17-year-old Grazia sets out to search for him, despite her father’s reservations.
‘Niente’ is not just a poetic word dropped into the title for dramatic effect; ‘Nothing’, and specifically saying nothing, is a theme that runs deep through atmospheric Italian drama ‘Il Sud è Niente’.
Grazia is a 17-year-old girl living in a small southern Italian town. She lives and works with her reticent father. Hanging over their small family is the loss of Grazia’s brother, who according to her father has died. Without any information on her brother’s death, and after a vision of him while swimming in the sea, Grazia decides to try to find him.
While themes such as family, sexuality, fear and corruption are touched upon, the greatest strength of ‘Il Sud è Niente’ is its ability to hint at greater depths without explicitly providing detail. With a beautiful visual style and a superb central performance from Miriam Karlkyist as Grazia, ‘Il Sud è Niente’ is a wonderfully accomplished piece of filmmaking and storytelling. The film provides all of the story elements like the pieces of an intricate mosaic, laying them down for our appraisal: while nothing is explicitly explained, by taking a step back the bigger picture is revealed.