Sulla Mia Pelle AKA On My Skin 2018 Movie Scene Alessandro Borghi as Stefano Cucchi meeting his father played by Massimiliano Tortora while escorted by the police

Sulla Mia Pelle AKA On My Skin [2018]

I tend to avoid slow dramas featuring difficult stories that are hard to watch. Usually, there has to be something special about them, something that will make them feel unique and authentic. Sulla Mia Pelle AKA On My Skin is a movie about police brutality, the justice system, and the society we live in. It’s a movie about us, humans and as such, it’s intensely thought-provoking. To make things better or worse, depending on the perspective, it’s also based on true events.

And these are not events that happened fifty years ago but in 2009, so quite recently. I promise you that once you start watching, you will feel obliged to finish it. The storytelling is gripping and the performances stellar. Alessandro Borghi playing the lead character, a small-time drug dealer Stefano Cucchi deserves a fucking Academy Award. And if you stick ’till the end of the movie, you’ll have an opportunity to hear the real Stefano and compare them. Stefano’s sister, called Alessandro Borghi after seeing the movie and told him “I don’t know how you did it but you’re just like him.”

If you’ve seen one movie about police brutality, you’ve seen them all. On My Skin offers a break from those generic approaches and takes a different path. It feels very personal and authentic, like you’re in a waking nightmare, just like Stefano was. This makes the storytelling very compelling and, at times, difficult to watch. Difficult but very necessary in order to fully grasp the severity of the situation but more about that later.

Stefano is a former heroin addict trying to get his life together. Luckily, his family is helping him do that and it seems that he’s going to make it. One night he meets up with his friend to smoke some hash in his car, reminiscing about the past and time they spent together. They just hear a knock on the car door and see two policemen who start asking them questions. They don’t know it yet but this will be the most important night of their young lives.

The thing that hit me the most about this case and movie was the scope of it. Mostly because we’re following basically one character, it’s easy to lose track of the number of other individuals that also play their part in the story. And this is what got me. The failures of not just the systems but also the people. People whose only job it is to take care of you. We, the citizens pay them with our taxes to take care of us, and then this is what happens. And if you keep asking the question why, the answers will inevitably lead you to the same thing.

The tribal system of values and lack of any internal moral responsibility. It dehumanizes people who are not following the rules, designating them as something that needs to be removed from society. By any means necessary. However, I must immediately follow this statement up with the fact that there are some brave individuals going against the grain. It’s just hard to rationalize these events immediately after the movie. And that fucking chocolate scene will stay with me until the day I die.

All of this is happening in a country where organized crime has long-standing ties with the police and where corruption is a huge issue. Granted, it’s the old plomo or plata concept but still. Finally, if you want to know more about Stefano Cucchi’s case, I urge you to take a look at this Lacuna Magazine article about him. The case is much more complicated than you think and it has far-reaching consequences. 

Director: Alessio Cremonini

Writers: Alessio Cremonini, Lisa Nur Sultan

Cast: Alessandro Borghi, Massimiliano Tortora, Jasmine Trinca, Elisa Casavecchia, Milvia Marigliano

Fun Facts: Alessandro Borghi lost 18 kg (39 pounds) for this role.


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