Weekly Recommendation: The Macaluso Sisters screened with the Rivertown Film Society and a group of local artists


by Juliana Roth

As winter sets in, Rivertown Film Society will take audiences to a slightly warmer place: a Sicilian summer of 1985 to meet the Macaluso sisters (Maria, Pinuccia, Lia, Katia and Antonella). These five orphan girls live in an impoverished rooftop apartment in Palermo, living off the money earned by renting doves for various ceremonies. One of their days off, a tragedy occurs that spills over into the rest of the sisters’ lives. Rivertown Film Society will house proof of vaccination, ID and masks only screening and discussion on December 15 at 8 p.m.


The Italian feature film follows the Macaluso sisters through the generations as the impact of this disaster unfolds. The film is “… about things that last. About the people who stay even after death. It’s about old age as an incredible accomplishment in life, ”says writer / director Emma Dante. The film won the Pasinetti Prize (awarded by the National Union of Italian Journalists) for Best Film and Best Actress (awarded to the entire cast) and was screened at the Venice International Film Festival.

Stick around for a post-film chat about the craft, history, and themes with local filmmaker and Rivertown Film Society vice-chair of the board, Vera Aronow, who was co-producer and editor of Backpack full of money (2017) and co-producer and editor of Megamall (2010), which she also co-directed.

Aronow will be joined by local poet and teacher Gerald McCarthy, who has twice been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. His poetry books include: War story (1977), Shoe city (1992), Problem light (2008), and Door in the wall (2020) with writing appearing in TriQuarterly, America, Nimrod, New Letters, Plowshares, and Coffee criticism.

Local filmmaker and writer Juliana Roth will also join the discussion. Roth is currently Chief Storyteller at the Edward Hopper Museum & Study Center, Media Specialist at the Rivertown Film Society, and teaches writing at New York University and The School of The New York Times. She is an Actress / Playwright member of the WCT Theater and is currently in post-production on a new short film, Last curtain reminder, which was shortlisted for this year’s Stowe Story Labs.

Tickets for the film and more information about the event are available on Rivertown Film Society’s website. Tickets for the December 15th screening are $ 12 for non-members, $ 9 for members and $ 8 for student and senior members.


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