rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

'Road to the Lemon Grove' is a trip everyone should take

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Image: Road to the Lemon Grove/Facebook

Writer, storyteller, actor and musician Charly Chiarelli was born in Racalmuto, Sicily and grew up in the north end of Hamilton, Ontario. And, it's a pretty safe bet to say that Chiarelli spent this weekend celebrating the Canadian premiere of his first feature length film, Road to the Lemon Grove.

Co-written by Chiarelli and Dale Hildebrand, also the director, Road to the Lemon Grove is a delightful movie made up of a surprising number of layers.

Sicilian immigrant Antonio Contatini, played by Chiarelli, has passed away in his adopted American homeland. We meet him standing outside the gates of heaven. Unfortunately, God is refusing to let him in until he reconciles with his only child, Calogero, also played by Chiarelli.

The plot thickens when relatives of Antonio's deceased wife try to keep Calogero from inheriting the family lemon grove in Sicily. That side of the family has nefarious plans for the lemon grove that will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Calogero grudgingly makes his way from his American home town, that has an uncanny resemblance to the Hammer, to the Sicilian lemon grove where his parents met and fell in love in order to spread his father's ashes. Meanwhile, Calogero's cousin Guido is dispatched by the other side of the family to stop him from inheriting his father's beloved grove.

It takes some time for Calogero to realize he has embarked upon more than one journey.  Eventually, the linguistics professor comes to understand the importance family, traditions, language and culture play in our lives. He also discovers that he is not so different from his immigrant father after all.

Throw into this plot a kidnapping, a few unexpected romances, incredible scenery, fabulous al fresco meals, the settling of a family feud and you have the makings of a delightful romantic comedy suitable for every age.

Road to the Lemon Grove stars Burt Young as Calogero's uncle Zio Vincenzo, Nick Mancuso as cousin Guido, Rossella Brescia as Calogero's love interest Maria, and Loreena McKennitt as the voice of God. The movie also has fantastic music throughout including one tune by Chiarelli's little sister, Rita.

The making of this movie was clearly a labour of love and one can't help but feel there's a lot of Chiarelli and his own father in this story.

All that's left for this mangiacake to say is, Bravissimo Calogero (Charly) Chiarelli! Bravissimo!

Road to the Lemon Grove (88 minutes) premiered Labour Day weekend at 17 select Cineplex Theatres from Vancouver to Montreal where it will run for a week.

Doreen Nicoll is a freelance writer, teacher, social activist, and member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.

Image: Road to the Lemon Grove/Facebook

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.