Blocco 181 Series: Feminism in the Testosterone Bath (nd-aktuell.de)


Always resolute: if a man shows his feelings, they are usually of a bitter nature in the Milan prefab.

Photo: sky

The rite of initiation, viewers familiar with literature suspect that, at least since Musil’s book “The Confusions of the Pupil Torres” are rarely painless. Yet they are equally agonizing as in “Blocco 181” outside of male associations like the Bundeswehr only in the location of the sky drama of the same name: on the outskirts of a central European city, where native Italians and Latins have moved fighting over a few dilapidated blocks of houses as If it were kingdoms.

So here, not far from the posh neighborhoods and fashion shows of Milan, a boy is so brutally abused by six or seven thugs early in the season that one would intuitively want to intervene on screen – which, however, would not be in the interests of the apparent victim. Because Pulgo, it is said, is perfectly fine with his hitting, which someone counts as in a boxing match. After all, these are the rules in the ghetto.

Because he wants to belong to the gang called the Misas, Pulgo endures her elementary rituals without complaint, then even gets a rewarding kiss from the beautiful Bea, thus setting the tone for an eight-part novel that sometimes wants to be a thing for romantics, but certainly not for sensitive tempers. It is no coincidence that the bloodbath between the natives and immigrants in the northern Italian capital reminds us of a German version of similar brutality: the Giuseppe Caputundi series is clearly a remake of Marvin Crane’s Neukölln neighborhood tragedy “4 blocks”.

The visual and audio language of music video director Dario Bonamine is in no way inferior to the original. After all, Pulgo’s painful ticket to the underworld is just the beginning of an epic feud about power, love, money and prestige, which has more archetypes than the German one. Romeo and Juliet especially. As in Shakespeare’s late medieval Verona, in the late capitalist Milan Capotondi, two clans fight each other to the death, one from each clan no longer willing to play the game of primary rivalry.

Stubborn Pia (Laura Osma), sister of imprisoned Mesa chief Ricardo, falls in love with Italian merchant Ludo (Alessandro Biavani) and his friend Mehdi, a thorn in the side of Ricardo’s deputy Victor (Sergio Andrade) because he is the right-hand man of the block manager Rizzo (Alessio Praticò) and thus a rival In his living room. This is how Ménage-à-trois takes its course, which, despite all its aesthetic violence, is very exciting; Unlike Romeo and Juliet but much less retro.

Aside from her remote visuals, Bea captures the female struggle for self-empowerment in a testosterone-infused environment. “Will your friend get angry if you dance with me?” Ludo asks at the end of the first part in the club. ‘No,’ replies Bea, ‘and you?’ Thanks to these dialogues, the extreme “Westside story” has become downright feminist for fans of soap operas that glorify violence, from “The Sopranos” to “Breaking Bad” and “Narcos.” At least to some extent.

Because even this social and cultural clash of subcultures celebrates masculinity almost continuously. Tattooed alpha males keep hitting each other with something until blood flows high over the statues of Madonna in every corner of Milan. Moreover, the soundtrack of Italian rapper Maurizio Pescoto aka Salmo, who, like fellow German Wassim Taha aka Massif, is allowed to shoot himself a bit in “4 Blocks”, sometimes “Blocco 181” into a loose sequence of raw hip-hop clips . It seems superficial, but it doesn’t matter.

With films like “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” longtime director Capotondi broke free from his music video past, not forgetting the quick sequence of cuts and beats. Despite and because of the cruelty on display, this makes “Blocco 181” a very interesting series for generations of MTV and Netflix alike — and also critical commentary on the revenge doctrine of revenge, swelling the fetish of masculinity from Putin to Urban. Trump can now save the post-championship era. And without giving too much: B isn’t the type of woman who ends up drinking a poisoned cup. It looks very modern for that. Anyway, more modern than the traditional upbringing ritual.

Available on Sky

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