Forgive Us Our Debts

Forgive Us Our Debts – Italian Drama, Available on Netflix

Forgive Us Our Debts is a drama that feels like a sour treat matching wonderful camera work with a compelling, witty and melancholy script.

Forgive Us Our Debts revolves around Guido(Claudio Santamaria) a recently fired down on his luck middle-aged man. The story focuses on his new job as a debt collector and Guido being mentored by a seasoned debt collector named Franco(Marco Giallini). Guido struggles with the wicked demands of the job but feels an unwanted emotional stimulus from holding power over someone. Guido is stuck between the shame he feels being a debt collector and the money and power the job brings. Struggling between two worlds is a common theme for most characters in the film. Guido, Rina, a temporary bartender, and guido’s only friend, a man he calls the professore, all struggle with their identity. Caught in between their old selves and the people they want to become. Each character being so dynamic gives the plot of the movie much-needed depth. Rina is my favorite character, she is just worried enough about Guido to give him hope but she is always going to have to leave the country. Franco is also a standout, he is an unforgiving and cold debt collector who changes little.

All four main characters are acted well but Flonja Kodheli is a real standout. She added much more gravitas to every scene and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her the whole film. Marco Giallini made me hate Franco at multiple points, so he’s also a standout.

The Camerawork is a style not often seen in modern filmmaking, but I enjoy it. The long static cuts, which are abundant in the film, add a sense of reality. It makes the characters and the situations feel real instead of situations manufactured for maximum pleasure. Although, the most impressive cut in the movie uses a moving camera focused on Rina, showing the talent of the cinematography work.

Forgive Us Our Debts is worth a watch for any cinephile, but moviegoers who dislike a slow building plot and a melancholy story should look elsewhere. Also, it’s in Italian so you have to use subtitles.  

3.5/4 Stars

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