Lazzaro Felice (2018) is a masterpiece. It uses fantastical realism to tell a tale about a modern saint and how they can not live on our modern society. Many scenes directly represent that, such as the marchioness educating her slaves on the Bible or the nuns sending Lazzaro and his friends out of the church. It also shows how fragile friendships are and how people will do good things only for their own interest. For example, we have the figure of Tancredi rebelling against his mother, the marchioness, and her evil deeds. However, this happens because of his ressentment towards her, not because he pity of the poor people working as slaves. And when Tancredi and Lazzaro reunite yaers later, he is quick to start using him again: “hold my dog, Lazzaro”; “follow me, Lazzaro”; and in 24h he has already vanished from his mind. That exploration of these volatile relationships is also seen on the figure of the elderly who refuse to help Lazzaro, even thought he was always available for their demands back in Inviolata.
For this movie there are no happy endings in life. As the marchioness said, she is preying on people who prey on their own, and that’s what everybody else does. When the people of Inviolata are freed, their life continues miserable, because the society continues to prey on them, just in a different way. And they prey on others. Maybe they are forced to do It, yes, but still they do. Lazzaro is the only one who is selfless, who is the modern saint, who gave his life as in the stories of other saint’s lifes that Antonia told him. Antonia, even her that aims to be good and kind is partially held back from that due to the enviroment she lives in.
Such a sad movie, but so well done, full of symbolism, full of deep reflections on the horrores of life, but, maybe, carrying something good hidden on these horrors. After all, I cryed for these characters, I had empathy for them, the very thing it tells us so hard the world as a hole is lacking — and I doubt anyone who watches this amazing film won’t feel the same.