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Q&A: Claudio Giovannesi • Director

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"Juvenile detention centres are good for nothing"

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- CANNES 2016: Claudio Giovannesi’s teen love story Fiore was presented in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival

Q&A: Claudio Giovannesi  • Director
(© Directors' Fortnight)

The new movie by Claudio GiovannesiFiore [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Claudio Giovannesi
film profile
]
, is a story of teenage love behind bars, which was warmly received in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Fiore will hit screens in Rome and Milano on 25 May, and will reach the rest of Italy on 1 June, courtesy of BIM.

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After doing so in Alì Blue Eyes [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Claudio Giovannesi
festival scope
film profile
]
and Fratelli d'Italia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, you once again explore the world of the most marginalised young people.
Claudio Giovannesi:
What we were really interested in was showing prison as a place that ends up depriving you of many other things besides freedom. In this specific case, we’re talking about teenagers who are guilty in the eyes of the law but who are nonetheless innocent because of their still-unadulterated lives. And this is the only way they can possibly contemplate continuing to love each other, thinking of that very moment, without worrying about the consequences, as we adults would be prone to doing.

How did you come up with the idea for the film?
I discovered that there were two blocks in the juvenile detention centre in Rome, at Casal del Marmo – one for male inmates and the other for females. They are totally prohibited from coming into contact with each other and are not allowed to have any kind of exchange.

Then there was a four-month workshop in the juvenile detention centre, where you and screenwriters Filippo Gravino and Antonella Lattanzi volunteered as teachers.
A lot of what you see in the film, in terms of both the events and the dialogue, stems from that experience – even the countless absurd prohibitions that these youngsters are subjected to, like the one that says that these kids can’t use lipstick. Prison is good for nothing, if not just to keep them segregated, with its bars and solitary confinement cells… They make an attempt to rehabilitate them through the workshops, but it’s a waste of public money more than anything else. These minors are guilty in the eyes of the law, but they have the innocence of being adolescents.

What are the backgrounds of the two young lead actors, who are non-professionals?
We conducted a huge search for the people to play the two lead roles. In the end, we found Josh because he was already involved in some stage plays organised in the Beccaria prison in Milan, while we came across Daphne in a restaurant in Monteverde, Rome, where she was a waitress.

Valerio Mastandrea plays the girl’s father, and he is one of the few professionals, alongside Laura Vasiliu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
]
) and Aniello Arena (Reality [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
).

We immediately thought of Mastandrea because we required an actor who would be able to guarantee that very high degree of truth we needed to bring to the film.

(Translated from Italian)

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Cannes Film Festival 2016
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