Happy Winter

Every summer, Palermo’s Mondello Beach is filled with hundreds of Italian families. For them, a holiday on the crowded beach is the highlight of the year. The tight rows of beach huts are part of the facade that could tumble into the ocean along with the waves at any moment.

A man is selling refreshments to support his family through the winter. Another one is looking for voters in a community fed up with politicians. Three women return to the beach every year to feel young again. One family would rather get into debt than miss out on their holiday. We hear the beach-goers talking about their intentions to leave the country for the winter or get a job.

Giovanni Totaro’s first feature-length documentary reflects the effects of the economic crisis throughout society. The faith in politics is crumbling, and it’s easier to put your fate into the hands of a higher power. Summer at Mondello Beach is an escape from the uncertainties of everyday life and a chance to redefine yourself. Water games, singing together, and playing cards is enough to ensure quality of life for just a moment.

This documentary is a visual and warm-heartedly humoristic depiction of fleeting optimism and attempts to have control over your own life.

Reetta Linnea / Translation: Ulrika Sundelin

Language: Italian
Subtitles: English

  • Name in Original Language: Happy Winter
  • Director: Giovanni Totaro
  • Country: Italy
  • Year: 2073
  • Length: 91 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Paolo Ferrari, Nunzio Gringeri
  • Editing: Andrea Maguolo
  • Production: Simone Catania, FRancesca Portalupi/Indyca with Rai Cinema in co-production with Zenit Arti Audiovisive


  • Cinema Artis, hall 2: Friday, 02.02 - 17:30