The exact contrary of big bad TV
by Camillo De Marco
Stefano Petraglia: "The script was not built according to classical rules. In the first part, time is dilatated, things are described extensively, without cuts, until we see the kid fall in the water. At that point, what seemed to be the chronicle of a Summer, changes completely to become an adventure movie. Then it changes again, and so on. The script was written around a series of situation shifts. At some point, we also started realising, without telling each other, that we were building the whole film around the final scene."
Sandro Rulli: "In the beginning, the journey was more central. Marco Tullio did not want to make a film on the 'issue' of immigration, but to depict the encounter of several cultures through innocent teenagers. This very innocence is what allows them to meet —if they had been older, everything would have been a lot more complicated. Thus, eventually, this adolescent triangle became the core of the film, and the sea-scenes shrank."
Stefano Petraglia: "Marco Tullio had two great instincts. First, while the script was in the making, he felt the main character had to be pubescent and hardly aware of his own sexuality. Adolescence is a confusing period, but at that age, you cannot name what you are confused about yet. Marco Tullio's other great idea was to choose Matteo Gadola. After the auditions, we all had different views on the candidates. I, for instance, thought Matteo seemed too independent and self-sufficient, too clear-cut. This worried me a little, but I was wrong."
Stefano Petraglia: "This film is the exact contrary of what you see on bad TV, for here, the 'good' people are not that good and the 'bad' ones are not that bad. I cannot imagine how the public will react. I know the characters are endearing. In fact, as I was watching the kid on the screen in the dark, I loved him even more than I did when I created him on the paper. The girl is deeply moving, too. The way she looks at Sandro towards the end is, in my mind, the way they all look at us. I hope the public will assume Alina's vision and go back home with something they did not have nor know before."
Sandro Rulli: "Inside of each of us, there is a grey zone which separates the so-called 'good' immigrants and the 'bad'. As the dark-skinned worker tells Sandro, life is in fact much more complicated. Through the eyes of the kid, we are led to see these immigrants as mysterious characters. We understand some things about them, but not all. Sandro, for instance, does not (or does not want to) understand the relationship of Radu and Alina, and this until the very end. This being said, his problem is not knowing if they are brothers or lovers so much as defining what he feels for them, especially in the end, when he sees a different Alina than the one he had in mind."
(Translated from Italian)