There’s no neat way to sum up the range of style and talent at this year’s Cinema Italian-Style Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown (Nov 9-16), except that it will draw from the richest veins of the country’s filmic life. For one thing, two films cast nonprofessionals in lead roles, a hallmark of the Neorealism movement of the 1940s and ‘50s. The War of the Yokels stars young first-time actors in a visceral fable about a war between rich and poor teenagers in rural Puglia. A Ciambra, the second film by Jonas Carpignano (Mediterranea) and this year’s Italian Oscar submission, immerses itself in the life and community of a marginalized Roma boy. Speaking of Neorealism: If you have any doubts that filmmaking can be an expression of profound love and empathy for one’s fellow humans (and animals), see the restoration of Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D, a 1952 masterpiece about a destitute retired civil servant, his desire to die with dignity, and his bond with an adorable dog. If you’ve never been, make this your first rendezvous with Cinema Italian-Style. It looks like a particularly good year, full of the humanist spirit and earnest fun that’s always abounded in the country’s art. It might be exactly what you need as the year grows dismal.