Open Roads is an all-too-brief survey of new Italian cinema presented annually by New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center. Now in it sixth year, the series offers a wide selection of films, most of which will never see distribution in the US; this year's festival runs from May 31 until June 9, and further details (including ticket information) can be found on the Open Roads website.
Anchored by a terrific supporting performance by Michele Placido, Michele Soavi's dark, twisted The Goodbye Kiss is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and easily the most enjoyable film I've seen at Open Roads. Sold as a political thriller, the film in fact dabbles in multiple genres, mixing thriller with heist and horror, all presented with a knowing nastiness that, by the movie's end, has you smiling when you should be recoiling in disgust.
The movie stars Alessio Boni (The Best of Youth) as Giorgio, a one-time hardline leftist who flees Italy when a bomb he helps plant accidentally kills a bystander. After some time with communist guerillas in an unnamed Central American country, he executes his best friend in exchange for a French passport, and returns home, bored and unsettled enough to risk arrest. And, upon arrival in Italy, he is immediately set upon by Michele Placido's Anedda, a cop who has pictorial evidence of Giorgio planting that deadly bomb; rather than do serious prison time, he agrees to give Anedda the names of everyone in the organization of which he was once a member. Thus, after two years in prison, he's free and can begin working on official forgiveness, or "rehabilitation."