Water Polo movie/scene about Communism?!
September 12, 2009 8:23 PM   Subscribe

What movie did I watch with Water Polo as an allegory for Socialism/Communism?

The lovely local WETA station shows foreign films, and I caught the very end of one that had me captivated... it was a climactic scene where a water polo player was contemplating where to aim his penalty shot. It had subtitles that read things like "I should go right..." and "The LEFT! The left is better!" It seemed like some allegory for his decision process about accepting socialism/communism, but I'm not sure. I'd definitely like to give the film a proper viewing, and figure out what it was all about!

I saw this many many years ago, so I don't recall any more details. I believe it might have been B&W though.

Any ideas?
posted by mnop to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's a list of films in the imdb database with water polo as a keyword, if that helps.
posted by amyms at 8:45 PM on September 12, 2009

Best answer: It sounds like Moretti's Palombella Rossa (Red Lob).
posted by iconomy at 9:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A bit more about it to help refresh your memory:

"Remarkably, the films that have brought Moretti international recognition are narratively unconventional, as well as being specifically about Italian culture. In the bizarre Palombella Rossa (Red Lob, 1990), Moretti is a Communist politician trying to play water polo as the match itself becomes an allegory for the troubled fortunes of the party." link

"Then, beginning with Red Lob in 1989, the focus suddenly shifts to other things ÷ politics, illness, and parenthood. Red Lobâs title refers to both a type of water polo shot and the Communist politics of the filmâs protagonist: suffering from amnesia, Michele/Moretti falls in with a water polo team on its way to Sicily for a match. Gradually recovering his memory, he realizes that he is a Communist parliamentary deputy who has recently made an amazing political gesture ÷ of which he has no memory.

The film is an intellectual delight, complex and open in its structure and ideas, blending more than ever before the Michele character's private and public sides to represent a generational way of thinking. Confused, problematic, and lacking a clear identity, he personifies the Italian Left at the end of the Eighties as it headed into a period of radical transformation. The film's centerpiece is an all-day, all-night water polo game filled with excitement, confusion, and conflicting desires. The troubling aspects of Michele's life appear in the background but frequently shift to the fore: the vulgar mass media represented by Mariella Valentiniâs reporter, the militant past, and the rose-tinted future that could represent the end of all ideals. " link
posted by iconomy at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone! amyms, the imdb database led me to Palombella Rossa. And iconomy has pretty much confirmed it!

Funny how I remember it being very dramatic and distinctly in black and white... time can definitely alter some memories.

The scene I watched was so powerful... I'll definitely check out the full film now that I know the name! Thanks
posted by mnop at 9:13 PM on September 12, 2009

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