A moving crime-drama in the Italian neo-realist style written and directed by Jonas Carpignano. A 14 year old Romany boy moves between the Italian, African and Romany communities in a small town in Italy’s far south. He’s had to grow up fast and he’s learning to be one street-smart teenager, when adult responsibility falls on his shoulders and he needs to find ways to keep the family going. Crime offers a quick way out of poverty, but will he shift from low-level offences to something far more serious?
The director’s choice to involve local people to play fictionalised versions of themselves gives the film authenticity and power – the tensions and day to day challenges come to life as the three disparate communities reveal themselves. The use of non-actors has led some to compare the film to the Neo-Realist Italian film movement just after the war, but those films, such as ‘Bicycle Thieves’, tended towards a simple earnest binary structure of good and bad in society. Carpignagno is looking at a much more complex set of contemporary issues and leaving us to ponder our reactions.
‘Shockingly alive, startlingly accomplished and remarkably acute.’ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“The film provides fresh evidence of the continued vitality of the neorealist impulse as it tries to embed a fictional narrative in the actual world.” A.O. Scott, The New Times