The Ark of Disperata
With economic depression, high unemployment and crime, Disperata doesn’t have a lot going for it, and the townspeople have little cause for optimism. Filippo is the melancholic mayor of the town and feels completely inadequate in his duties. His only pleasure is the poetry and literature classes he holds at the local prison. There he meets the brothers Pati and Angiolino, low-level criminals with aspirations to become Mafia bosses. Art intervenes and changes the lives of the three men, promising the rebirth of the town of Disperata. Director Winspeare, who hails from the southern Salento region in which the film is set, uses non-professional local actors to great effect in this wryly funny and ultimately hopeful film.
Winspeare hires only ordinary locals. ‘When a non-professional does a good job, it’s perfect because it’s authentic.’ One actor was worried after losing two teeth just before filming, he recalls, but ‘I was delighted’. – Hannah Roberts, Financial Times