Synopsis by Mark Deming
This musical drama (most of the dialogue is sung) concerns a diverse group of people brought together in a city in Italy. Pina (Isabel Ruth) was born in Portugal but now lives in poor circumstances in Naples. Pina has two daughters, Rosa (Iaia Forte), who has been wearing a wedding dress since she was left stranded at the altar several years ago, and Caterina (Galatea Ranzi), who murdered a man who wronged her as he left the church following his wedding. Caterina winds up in prison alongside Maddalena (Anna Bonaiuto), a prostitute who witnessed the murder and was inspired to kill a man in her own life who had hurt her. The incidents from these women's lives are interspersed with another story, set in 1929 and filmed in black-and-white, about a man who shoots his wife in a movie theater and must run to avoid the police. Filmed on location in Naples, with non-professionals as extras, Appassionate was screened as part of the 1999 Venice Film Festival.