Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro Felice)

Regie: Alice Rohrwacher, Italië, 125 MIN, Italiaans, 12+

Cast: Alba Rohrwacher, Sergi Lopez, Nicoletta Braschi

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Happy as Lazzaro is an original gem of the Italian cinéast Alice Rohrwacher. The film tells the story of an encounter between the rural boy Lazzaro and the young nobleman Tancredi. Their exceptional friendship creates a remarkable movement in time and space in this beautiful modern Italian fairy tale.

Lazzaro is a young farmer who possesses such exceptional goodness that he is labeled as silly. Life in the countryside has remained the same for centuries. Here the Marquis procures the farmers who, in turn, benefit from Lazzaro. On a summer day, he befriends Tancredi who is the son of the Marquis. He asks for help from the gullible Lazzaro when setting up his own kidnapping. From then on a special bond originates between the two.

It is noteworthy that the film won the prize for the Best Scenario in Cannes and has been nominated for the European Film Awards in several categories. Hence, if you should describe Happy as Lazzaro in short, it is about the power of pure, unselfish goodness. Or as Lieven Trio writes in a Belgian newspaper De Morgen: ‘Lazzaro is a particularly atypical main character, almost without purpose or dramatic evolution. But he is a moral anchor in confused times, and a catalyst for the good”