TAORMINA – The experience of migration has always brought together millions of people around the world. He is not aware Marco PeregoItalian director living in America and married to a diva Zoe Saldana, also the daughter of immigrants. IN Absence of Eden, his first feature film presented at the 69th Taormina Film Festival, Perego addresses precisely this problem by focusing on the hot border between Mexico and the United States. The setting in which his famous wife, known mainly for her roles in the sagas of Avatars AND Guardians of the Galaxy.
Absence of Eden develops in two parallel directions. On the one hand, a new agent for ICE, the federal agency responsible for border control, played by Garrett Hedlund he begins to gain experience in the often bitter fight against illegal immigration; on the other, Esmeralda (Zoe Saldana) is a stripper forced to emigrate to the States, constantly tormented by her beauty, which makes her the preferred target of hungry men. Two mostly sane and good-hearted individuals will soon find themselves unsuspecting rivals in a battle that is not theirs.
These opposite worlds are told in a crude way, putting the characters in front of a reality that is often much larger than they can imagine, reducing their options to almost nothing. There is no free will in the story told by Perego., only roles thrown from above that keep us in prepackaged existences and are as inevitable as tragic fates. There is no place for love or innocence in the unhealthy mechanism that has arisen around crossing the Mexican border, as can be seen from the way the children are treated in the story. Even those who are blameless suffer the burden of choosing others. The duality that is created is the duality “us or them”, in a war between desperate people, in which there can never be a winner.
Absence of Eden it has a wonderful staging for a debut film and, above all, a top notch interpretation. What doesn’t shine is perhaps the proper management in the final part of the story, with a guilty lack of a spectacular climatic moment that leaves us hanging in the hope of something more. But perhaps that was precisely the director’s goal: to realize that until the system is completely reformed, there will not be a happy ending for thousands of people who every year become the protagonists of stories very similar to this one.