Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In the 1950s, a big stir was made by a book (and its corresponding movie) called The Ugly American. Its subject was the grievous damage done to local cultures by well-meaning but essentially clueless (and frequently arrogant) representatives of the U.S. Since then, the phenomenon of cultural damage cause by arrogant tourists and visitors has been demonstrated to be something everyone is capable of. In this thoughtful, comic drama, the subject is Italians overseas. In this film, Malindi Kenya is the playground of rich Italians. In this story, Alessandro Benini (Corso Salani) has come to this resort in the African nation to claim an inheritance from his father, a man he barely knew. When he arrives on the scene, he is shocked to be put immediately under arrest; rather than leaving him property as he had supposed, his father left him a mountain of local debts. He is taken under the wing of Fulvio Colombo (Diego Abatantuono), a man with shady local connections and an even shadier past. Along the way, Alessandro learns a thing or two about violence, colonialism, and nature, before he safely returns home to Italy.