Yes, you can definitely see some beautiful tulips, but Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle encompasses the passion, laughter but also the heartache of a young couple immigrating to Puglia, where old Italian traditions run deep.
The youthful Anna (Ksenia Solo) goes back to Puglia to release her late mother’s ashes – stumbling upon an old friend of her parents, the intense but hilarious Immacolata (Lidia Vitale) and her trustworthy son Vito (Michele Venitucci).
It’s here she learns the true story of her parents, and that the mother she grew up with isn’t her birth mother. But how is it that she ends up in the local hospital, with a burned backside, being interrogated by the ever-patient detective (Giancarlo Giannini)?
Well, if you don’t already know, this trio gives you a tale told in true Italian fashion with Vitale taking the lead, sometimes exaggerating with Matrix like descriptions only to be challenged by Venitucci, as Gauke (Gijs Naber) was his hero and he’s adamant on describing every single detail to Anna about her father.
The energy of this film is captivating, and it will have you rolling with laughter, as well as painfully feeling for lives that are lost through greed and jealousy.
Solo does a sensational job, showing true talent throughout her Italian dialogue, and Naber’s love story will take you back to a romantic quintessential place or time. Realism sets in though – fear mixed with money, power and the Italian dynamics of the South.
Director Mike van Diem brilliantly captures all these essential elements, creating an explosion of emotions and allowing you to truly feel as if you’re also there in the villages of Gravina and Ginosa, taking part in this unfolding story full of adventure – both positive and negative.
“On the surface it’s a bitter-sweet immigration story. On a deeper level, it’s about how stories become stories, how certain stories become legends and myths, and how you, I and everyone else always have our own versions of the truth,” said Van Diem.
A co-production between the Netherlands, Italy and Canada, this World Premiere ties our three countries together, and brings us even closer across seas and language barriers.
We had the pleasure of meeting Canadian distributor A71 Entertainment, and we’re excited about exploring the possibility to include Tulipani as part of the 2018 ICFF lineup.