Comic film essayist Nanni Moretti may be an acquired tastea taste acquired by a good many viewers in Italy and France, where he’s a major cult figurebut I can’t think of a better introduction to his work than this 1998 feature about his struggles with fatherhood and Italian politics and how they interface. I don’t know if this means Aprile is his best film, but either because familiarity breeds affection or because his style is becoming fleeter, this is the Moretti feature I’ve found easiest to enjoy. The month of April is when his son is born and when Italy’s first left-wing government is elected; it’s also when Moretti decides to delay his favorite film projecta musical centered on a Trotskyite pastry chefto make a documentary about the upcoming election. Neither movie gets made, but we wind up getting tantalizing glimpses of both and learning a lot about contemporary Italyand Moretti’s special blend of the personal and the politicalin the process. 78 min. (JR)

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