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Le Fate Ignoranti Review

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A wife finds out that her recently decent husband had had a seven-year affair with a man and sets out to find him.

★★★★★

Having impressed with The Turkish Bath, and slightly disappointed with Harem Suare, Ferzan Ozpetek completes his loose trilogy on clashing cultures with this earnest study of loss, deceit, discovery and trust.

Set in Rome, the story centres on the relationship between middle-aged doctor Margherita Buy and Stefano Accorsi, the market trader with whom her deceased husband had been having a seven-year affair.

The action frequently verges on melodrama as they bury their bitterness at being rivals in love, but the fact that each has an exceedingly prickly personality prevents too many easy resolutions (even after Buy learns she's pregnant).

Unfortunately, the lingering undertone of political correctness rises to the surface as the protagonists participate in a gay pride march during the closing credits. More effective is the contrast between Buy's exclusive neighbourhood and the multi-ethnic bustle of Ostiense.

Ozpetek uses some original ideas to convey themes of disillusionment and duplicity but with mixed results as lingering undertones of political correctness rise to the surface.