Quattro Volte, Le

Director: Michelangelo Frammartino
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 3.5

Serene ode to reincarnation begins with an old shepherd passing away, only to have his soul transferred to a baby goat, then to a tree, and finally to coal for fire (which then becomes smoke, which then becomes part of the atmosphere once more). Though there is a brief sequence involving the village re-enacting Christ's death, the view of the Soul taking a variety of shapes and forms is not Christian but almost (dare I say) Buddhist - it's hardly dark and negative, and the picture's real strength is its humanistic belief that we are all nature, and that life continues on (in a variety of forms) following death. Of course, I have no interest in being 'reborn' as a mineral of any kind ... unless that mineral is gold, so that the gold can be made into jewelry, and that jewelry can be purchased and worn by some incredibly attractive, incredibly thin young woman (make the most of things, I always say...).