Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this physically and emotionally brutal drama, Matteo (Luigi Iacuzio) is a convict who landed in prison after a man was left to die by members of his gang. Given a 24-hour pass from prison, Matteo decides to revisit his old home town, where he discovers that most of his old buddies are either still on the wrong side of the law or have been victimized by others. The young women in the neighborhood have been subjected to the greatest indignities; the girl Matteo loves, Anna (Antonella Migliore), lost her virginity to a local boy, which so enraged her brother that he raped her as punishment, while his neighbor Rosa (Federica Bonavolonta) made the mistake of getting pregnant and is now trapped in a violent and loveless marriage. The worst fate awaited Michele (Francesco Pirozzi), who tried to save a friend from sexual assault, and was killed for her trouble by the would-be rapists. Amidst the chaos and violence of the neighborhood, Matteo tries to make sense of his life, the lives of those around him, and the often brutal family relationships which are tragically common. Pater Familias was screened in competition at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival.