Il Postino is, to date, the most beautiful film I have ever seen. I watched it on an impressionable Friday night at the age of twelve while curled up on the couch with my mother. It was s rite of passage. My favourite scene is when Pablo Neruda makes a recording and asks Mario what the most beautiful thing is, on his island. He leans forward nervously but without having to think answers, “Beatrice Russo”. I will never forget that day. It was the day I realised I didn’t want a knight in shining armour, but a simple postman who wanted to be a knight to me. This post is dedicated to Massimo Troisi who played Mario Ruoppollo, a simple postman on the Italian Island of Salina, who delivers letters to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda while in exile. Troisi delayed heart surgery to finish the film and consequently suffered a fatal heart attack just one day after filming was completed.

The film is set in Salina, which is on the volcanic Aeolan island chain of Italy (wikipedia). It actually looks a lot like Ulleungdo, which is probably what sparked off my memory of this film. Troisi plays his part skillfully and manages to communicate the humilty and exhiliration of falling in love and the humility and triumph of being loved in return. Here is one of my favourite scenes from the film…althought not my MOST favourite… Nevertheless, the table football scene…believe me… nobody needs subtitles for this one…

Mario asks Don Pablo to help him write a poem to win the heart of Beatrice, whose “Smile spreads like a butterfly”.


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