Mezzogiorno is a unique mediation on family history and the Italian Diaspora. Author David Kerekes reconstructs three generations of family history and myth, with material drawn from the anecdotal legacy of his mother, enriched by further interviews with other family members in Campania, southern Italy. Set against peasant riots and the collapse of the Fascist Party, the collected and recreated tales are placed in the mouth of a boy's ghost, as he reveals the potted tragedies, scandals and secrets of the family Iantosca to his sister.
In his quest to explore the anecdotal history of his family, Kerekes came to love the land his mother had left behind, and its atmosphere saturates Mezzogiorno. The religious and superstitious culture in which the Iantoscas lived inevitably make the work as much a piece of magical realism as it is biography, the family drama unfurling amidst a landscape of abject poverty, vicious landlords, San Antonio, feuds, curses, festa and the tarantella, a world lost to the changing Italy of the twenty-first century.