“Everything in Italy is beautiful…on the surface.” The film presents to us at the start.
It’s true. This country exudes beauty: from the Roman frescos preserved in Herculaneum to the natural beauty of the countryside of Tuscany. People on the streets are impeccably dressed as well. There’s no avoiding it. Foreigners fall in love with Italy’s beauty, and Italians recognize it.
But what lies below the surface? What is it like to be an Italian living in Italy? And why are so many young Italians leaving their county?
These are some of the questions Luca and Gustav set out to explore in Italy: Love it or Leave. But they didn’t just stay in Rome to get the answers. They traveled around the whole of the country—in a Fiat 500!
Putting around to every corner of Italy, they hope to both uncover the dark side of Italy as well as reveal the country’s splendor? But they are of opposite opinions. Should they move abroad or stay in Italy?
Gustav is pessimistic about the current state of Italian society. He’s trying to convince Lucca to move to Berlin—a place which is growing, nurtures creativity, and welcomes diversity.
One by one, Lucca and Gustav expose us to the rampant corruption and mismanagement, the lack of economic opportunity, the widespread homophobia, the exploitation of immigrants, and the general stagnation of creativity in Italy.
However, life in Italy is not all doom and gloom. This Lucca tries to show us. And Gustav knows it. He loves many aspects of life in Italy. He loves the importance of family. He loves the emphasis placed on mealtimes and the quality of food. He loves the coffee.
So, finally in the end, they decide to go or stay.
One of the reasons I love this film so much is not only because it’s well put together, but because it touches a universal theme to which we all can relate.
Our own countries are not perfect. If we’re not completely satisfied with our homeland, is it OK to emigrate? Or is it our duty to stay and enact positive change?
Have you left your home country? Have you at least considered moving? Would you feel like a traitor if you abandoned your home for a place you felt had more opportunity?