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An unusual mix of lyrical filmmaking in golden hues and gauzy images with shocking, brutal violence, Flight of the Innocent gives a kid's-eye view of a war among crime families in Southern Italy. Resourceful schoolboy Vito (Manuel Colao), the youngest son in a mob family of kidnappers, is the sole survivor of a massacre that lays waste to his entire rural household. He flees to Rome to find his cousin, while a vicious scar-faced killer (Federico Pacifici) is on his trail, haunted by the face of his family's latest victim, a boy no older than he. Though clever and patient, Vito remains a boy whose innocence is threatened by the corruption around him, his world shattered by murder, fear, and the guilt over his family's crimes, which he attempts to atone for in a personal act of penitence. It's a startlingly beautiful film filled with poetic images and a sense of wonder constantly shattered by violence, a beautiful visual irony that tends to overwhelm the more difficult conflicts of the narrative and may ultimately splinter the film's potential audience. The lyrical delicacy of the film hardly fits the he-man attitude of most action cinema, and the explosive, brutal violence will likely turn away much of its art-house audience. --Sean Axmaker
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