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Both a personal chronicle and a tale of initiation, the first part tells the story of the friendship of four children as well as the attempts at integration of a London family who has come to a small Italian fishing village.
It is the prelude to the drama that will radically change the life of the protagonists, the repercussions of which will be depicted in the second volume appearing in 2004. Barellito, Italy, 1906.
The arrival of William, a 10-year-old boy, and his family in this small fishing village doesn’t go unnoticed by the local population who doesn’t look kindly on having these foreigners in the Castagnedi region. The underlying hostility only gets worse when William’s father, Alex, unveils his project; to build an ultramodern fish factory, and that is interpreted as a threat by the locals. As for William, he gets to know Lisa, the daughter of a fisherman, Francesco, who has befriended the English family. Lisa is bizarre for she “sees” things and has been waiting for William’s arrival. She introduces him to Paolo and Nino, her two friends, and reveals something surprising to him: all four of them were born on the same day. In the chalk-white cliffs and around the campfires, childish initiation ceremonies open unexpected doors to the past. The drama explodes when Alex’s fishing trawler is set on fire and the body of Lisa’s father is found, murdered.
There are certain stories that immediately touch your heart and “OU LE REGARD NE PORTE PAS” is one of them. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to remain insensitive to this story. The characters, all charming and profoundly human, are extraordinarily depicted by the sublime, minimalist drawings of Olivier Pont.
The magic of childhood, the magnificent Mediterranean scenery, the distrust of foreigners and the passions that burn in this small world carries us away on a voyage along 96 pages of this first volume.