I saw an Italian film in January 2017 at the Santa Barbara Film Festival called “Il Nido” (the Nest). The film is set in a small town called Bucco, perhaps near the Swiss-Italian border. I think it is a fictional place, but it is beautiful—tall mountains, colorful trees, and the charming town. It is October and there is a little snow on the ground.
It seems that all the inhabitants of Bucco know each other. They are preparing for a special day—the annual feast day of the Virgin on October 13. According to legend, the Madonna appeared in the woods at Bucco, and today many pilgrims visit the town and drink the sacred water. The protagonist of the film is Cora, a university student, who has returned to the village where she grew up in order to help her father, the mayor of Bucco, with the festival.
Cora is a tour guide at this time. One day she notices a strange man who is standing apart from the group and is watching her. With him is a large German shepherd dog that is not on a leash. Both seem a bit menacing. She tries to speak with him, but Saverio is not very friendly. She eventually finds out that he was born in Bucco and lived there with his parents and older brother.
Spoiler Alert: Don’t read further if you plan to see the movie
The older brother died under mysterious circumstances. Cora begins to investigate and discovers that the newspapers and official documents of the time were not telling the truth about the incident that led to the brother’s death. In the meantime, the citizens of Bucco have become nervous—a broken window, the loss of electricity, a mass interrupted by Saverio and his dog. With the preparations for the religious festival as a backdrop, Cora discovers the hypocrisy of her father, uncle, grandmother, and the priest in Bucco.