Sette Giorni (Seven Days)
The luscious and unkempt greenery and ever-flowing waves surrounding a 26-person inhabited small island off the coast of Sicily is the ideal setting for the film Sette Giorni (Seven Days). Pragmatic botanist Ivan (Bruno Todeschini) rushes down the brush to meet a ferry carrying his brother’s best friend, free-spirited costume designer Chiara (Alessia Barela). Over the course of three days they are tasked with organising a dream wedding for Ivan’s brother Richard and, at first, they clearly irritate one another. Swiss director Rolando Colla’s film shows the intensity of an illicit affair, not only sexually but emotionally.
The low lighting used for interior scenes and the blue colour palette – ranging from the shades of the sea to the hues of Ivan and Chiara’s clothes – set a certain tone. Some of the most gorgeous shots are the underwater sequences, first with the pair in a pool and later with flower crowns being thrown into the ocean. The scene with wedding guests all gathered on rowing boats visually enhances the picturesque nature of the isle.
A hand motif begins its focus on Chiara’s rings and later her and Ivan’s hands. The intertwined hands of an elderly couple prompt Ivan to call his former partner. Other close-ups and slow-motion during the couple’s intimate sequences are beautifully shot.
It’s a shame that the dialogue, especially between the protagonists in the later scenes, is so sentimental and somewhat clichéd. Ivan nonchalantly spouts, “It’s time that kills love” when he’s explaining why shorter flings are best. Perhaps there is something lost in translation, as the characters effortlessly switch between Italian and French, which probably sounds less kitsch than the English subtitles.
The playful score – making use of the accordion, guitars and singing – is incorporated into Seven Days in such a way that the music often carries over into the following scene. This holds true on day one in the school when the elderly group sings for Ivan and Chiara. This pattern continues when they are on a neighbouring larger island (possibly Sicily) auditioning musicians for the wedding. One sultry Italian song plays when they have their first spark in the pool and is repeated in two later scenes.
The music by Bernd Schurer and cinematography by Lorenz Merz are two big strengths of Colla’s film, which has been making the rounds on the international festival circuit since it debuted at the Zurich Film Festival in 2016.
Sette Giorni (Seven Days) is released in selected cinemas on 15th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for Sette Giorni (Seven Days) here: