Documentary - Post-Production 2011

Laurentino 38 is a district in the periphery of Rome. It was built in the late 70’s, as a symbol of the new and modern idea of architecture called “Unité d’Habitation”. Already in the 80’s the project failed: the area became a sort of “Italian Bronx”, a place for drug traffics, and organized crimes.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • ITALY
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 52 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Luca FERRARI
    • Writer(s)
    • Luca FERRARI
    • Producer(s)
    • Damiano TICCONI
    • Synopsis
    • Laurentino 38 has been planned as a group of 11 blocks linked each other with pedestrian and causeway bridges where to go walking and to go shopping.
      One of the most famous criminal organization placed in Laurentino 38 was the “Banda della Magliana” (Magliana gang), involved in criminal activities during the Italian “years of lead”.
      When the poeple moved to Laurentino 38 the district was not even completed and the streets, the houses and the infrastructures have been neglected ever since.
      Today the most of the inhabitants of Laurentino 38 are drug addicts, previous offenders, uinemployed, pushers, mentally ill persons, and so on.
      There is no social welfare in the area, nor structures for young people, nor public transports, nothing that could help to live better.
      It’s 1pm during a day of August 2009, the sun burns and things are lacking shades. Rome is empty, there are not cars and people moving around; I feel like I am the last man on the heart. The scooter goes fast, without slowing down, traffic lights are useless. The noise of the engine bothers the silence. I go through the consular roads to the suburbs of Rome, some of them with strange names such as Tor tre teste (Three Heads Tower), Tor Bella Monaca (Beautiful Tower Nun). On Laurentina road almost at the end of the city after Via di Tor Pagnotta (Loaf Tower’s Road), another strange name, I finally turn right to Ignazio Silone road, an important Italian writer. Down to this road there is Laurentino 38, also known as L38. I park my scooter and I walk around, hypnotized by the cicada’s mantra. I notice that L38 is the writers and poet’s neighbourhood with an oddity, along with Carlo Levi road, Eugenio Montale road, Elsa Morante road , there are Baudelaire road, Gogol road, Melville road: surnames orphans of their first name.
      “Hey man, what are ya doing?” a voice says in the air, so laud, heavy and mumbled that also the cicadas singing seems to be intimidated. That voice is Armando, an old man who, in the 50s, was a world champion of boxing in the army category. Armando is seated on a chair next to a shack on a field in front of the council houses complex. After a smile and a couple of another mumbled words Armando tells me: “Come here, drink up!” offering me a plastic bottle cut in the half full of warm and cheap white wine.
      Armando’s shack is the place where, whenever during the day, everybody stops for just a glass of wine, a joke or also serious chat on the life.
      I have been hanging around that shack for weeks, till I met Massimo known as "er pantera" (the panther). Massimo runs a bar known as "Bisca" (gambling house), whose regulars are rabble people looking for alcohol, companionship and love.
      They discuss about jail life, broken families, true and imaginary stories, neighbourhood gossip.
      People stagger, shout, play pool, broil, with their eyes at times red and drugged....cocaine...obsessively present, in their pockets, in their minds, in their blood. There is also heroin, but it is for losers. And then other stories and legends, the Magliana gang and "er Sicilia", the turned informant who was ruling over the area.
      As months go by I start to understand their language, which is not only a rough dialect but a logic and dissenting universe about what is bad and what is good.
      Before their lonely intimacy, I listen to their choked voices, their tragic pleas, their odd thoughts and their unique stories; sometimes just the silence of soul’s residuals crushed in a thick and persistent claustrophobic anxiety.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jul 01, 2010