Il Postino

Director: Michael Radford

France/Italy/Belgium| 1994| Drama| 108 mins

One of the new comparative film texts for 2005/6, Il Postino is set in 1952 on a small Italian island where nothing much happens. Until, that is, the arrival of renowned Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) who has been exiled from his homeland and needs a place to stay. Neruda’s fame is such that he receives letters from all over the world, and the island needs a special postman to deliver his mail. Italian comic actor Massimo Troisi plays Mario Ruoppolo, who applies for the job and is successful. Curious about the island’s new resident, who seems to have an almost magical power over women, Mario finds the courage to engage the poet in a conversation about writing. This marks the beginning of an unusual friendship, with Mario listening to Neruda’s poetic ideas, and the poet teaching Mario about poetry and its relationship to life.

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