Life is good on the beach at Mondello, a seaside resort on the outskirts of Palermo, Sicily that attracts few foreign tourists but many Italians, who spend their summer in one of the hundreds of little beach houses. They make maximum use of the minimal space inside these huts, furnishing them with cupboards, shelves, lamps, curtains and ornaments. The beach is a microcosm of Italian life, including the financial crisis that the vacationers would prefer to forget about. In observational style, Happy Winter follows the beverage salesman who trudges through the sand with a heavy cooler full of water, beer and soda—and encourages his son to aim for a better job when he grows up. There are men playing poker, teenagers playing volley ball, middle-aged friends frolicking in the sea like children, and an aspiring politician trying to win votes on the beach. The tone is light, but there's a serious undercurrent. The film's affectionate approach wins our sympathy for the Sicilians, as they reach the end of their vacation and wish each other "Buon inverno," or "Happy winter."
Simone Catania for Indyca, Francesca Portalupi for Zenit Arti Audiovisive
Paolo Ferrari, Nunzio Gringeri