By Vittorio RIFRANTI


Drama - Completed 2011

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • ITALY
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Vittorio RIFRANTI
    • Writer(s)
    • Cinzia MASOTINA, Vittorio RIFRANTI
    • Producer(s)
    • Enzo COLUCCIO (Ardaco), Franco BOCCA GELSI (Gagarin)
    • Synopsis
    • I now understand that youth is blessed; that it is a risk to be taken, but that this very risk is blessed - Georges Bernanos
      It’s winter, in Liguria. Luca, Marco, Anna and Serena, four students in their first year at university, take a short off-peak holiday at Serena’s house, to study and get to know one another better. Another fellow student, Stefano, is unable to go with them as he is ill and currently undergoing treatment. His friends promise to film the highlights of their holiday for him.
      Luca is fully aware of being a charmer, and likes to play the cynic, while Marco is more considerate and introspective. Serena, the only one in a sound relationship, is very grown up and reassuring in her manner, unlike the beautiful Anna, who appears self-confident but seeks affection and approval in a series of brief love affairs.
      During the outward journey, a man commits suicide by throwing himself under their train. The four protagonists react differently to this tragedy: Luca approaches and photographs the scene with his mobile phone; Anna keeps close behind him, unsure whether or not to look; Marco switches on his video camera, but in fact lacks the courage to record the scene; while Serena remains aloof, shocked by the event.
      When they reach their destination, they meet Simone, a boy one year younger than they, who works with his mother in the pizzeria run by Giuliano, the mother’s partner, whom Simone hates. Simone, a shy and often clumsy lad, is pleased to have found a group of friends with whom to spend his free time. A few days later, Francesca, Serena’s older sister by about ten years, arrives on the scene. Francesca is very beautiful, and, unbeknown to her, her sunny, spontaneous sensuality instantly undermines the group’s equilibrium.
      Luca and Marco are attracted to her, the former explicitly and the latter shyly, while Anna is irritated by the presence of a girl with whom she feels in competition. Simone is also interested in Francesca, but he observes her from a distance, as if she were from another planet. After a pleasant evening spent at a club, they go down to the beach: some of them open up to one another, some stroll along the waterfront, some dip their feet in the freezing cold sea. Luca tries to kiss Francesca, but is rejected and ends up in bed with Anna. For her, it is a way of feeling wanted, for him a way to give vent to his frustration.
      The days drift by slowly, with the video camera capturing moments and accumulating images that are regularly forwarded to Stefano. The presence of Francesca, who only shares certain times of day with the others, changes their attitudes considerably: in her presence, they say and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t say or do. Simone has grown in the group’s esteem since he told them that he used to work in a slaughterhouse, killing and butchering livestock, which he takes them to see. It becomes clear to them that that seemingly naive and provincial lad in actual fact possesses the strength of those who have always had to work for a living, and has been through experiences that the others, well-to-do city girls and boys, can’t even imagine.
      After a fun night out, they decide to go to Simone’s pizzeria, which is now closed, to spend some more time together. As the evening wears on, drink after drink, they stage a fake robbery, while the video camera, resting on a table, films their shenanigans. However, they are soon caught out by Giuliano, who is annoyed to find them there and by the irresponsible attitude of his stepson. He gets angry with Simone and with the others, who try to defend their friend. A fight ensues, during which, frightened by the growing tension, Marco attacks the man.
      The next morning, Francesca, who had not been in the pizzeria with them and knows nothing of the previous night, departs. No one, not even Serena, says a word to her.
      No one knows how exactly, but the group slowly falls apart. They all close in on themselves, and display contrasting feelings towards the video camera that recorded the events of that infamous evening. They can neither bring themselves to look at them, or to delete them. They remain suspended, almost frozen in time, as Luca and Marco vent their anger and feelings of guilt against Simone, whom they consider the moral culprit. At times some of them seem to draw closer - Marco and Anna, Serena and Luca - and yet they all seem to be on an individual, inward journey, unable to communicate their feelings to the others except in the form of provocation or sudden outbursts of rancour.
      Little by little, through fragments of images caught on film on that dreaded night, which they gradually watch, it becomes clear that something very serious happened.
      No one watches or wants to watch the precise moment when Marco pushed Giuliano with violence, until Luca finally brings himself to do it. He takes refuge in an old abandoned hotel and watches the video from beginning to end. After a strange evening, spent on the beach and at the club, and during which one last clash with Simone takes place, Luca convinces the others to send the video to Stefano. Marco may have killed Giuliano by accident, but the tragedy has not been recorded on film: it takes place off-camera.
      Driven by a sense of guilt for having often wished Giuliano dead, after the last clash with Luca and Marco – the only time he reacts to their attacks – Simone goes to the police and confesses to the murder of Giuliano, whom he hated.
      Anna, Luca, Marco and Serena set off on their homeward journey, during which they make their first recording since the night of the tragedy, taping over the death of Giuliano. Perhaps they hope to erase their sense of guilt, or perhaps they will carry it within themselves for ever more.
    • Partners & financing
    • Gagarin
      Liguria Film Commission
      Macaia Film
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Feb 01, 2011
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