The Hollywood Reporter

‘Palio': Tribeca Review

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Cosima Spender

The Palio horse race held biannually in the Piazza del Campo of the beautiful Italian city of Siena is the exotic subject of Cosima Spender’s documentary, which plays like a classic sports drama thanks to its memorable central characters. While the races, which go back hundreds of years, last no more than 90 seconds each, Palio packs enough intrigue into its proceedings to practically fuel a miniseries. Receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film should find appreciative audiences in much the same way as the racing documentary Senna, a previous effort from its co-producer James Gay-Rees.

Featuring thrilling footage of the two races held during the summer the film was shot, Palio benefits greatly from the inherent drama of their outcomes, which will not be revealed here. Suffice it to say that a Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t have come up with anything better.

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