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VENICE 2014 Orizzonti/Italy

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Politics, literature and noir at the Venice Film Festival


- Three Italian films in competition in the festival's parallel section, which welcomes the return of Franco Maresco

Politics, literature and noir at the Venice Film Festival
Senza nessuna pietà by Michele Alhaique

There are three Italian films in Orizzonti, the parallel section that has become successful thanks to director of the Venice International Film Festival Alberto Barbera, who yesterday during the presentation of the programme explained the two competitions as "a way of differentiating between different films and different objectives, which are perceived as two sides of the same coin. Great filmmakers have agreed to take to the field with young artists". 

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Senza nessuna pietà (No Mercy) marks the producing debut of one of Italy's most-loved actors, Pierfrancesco Favino. The director Michele Alhaique is another actor making his debut behind the camera in this feature-film. Starring Favino himself along with Greta Scarano, Claudio Gioé, Adriano Giannini and Ninetto Davoli Senza nessuna pietà was described by Favino as "a genre film with a narrative structure that's different to what we're used to, devoid of moralism and with a love story that's told with moving sensitivity". The actor plays Mimmo, "a man who loves his manual work on the construction site but who, on account of his build and his character, is used by his mafia clan to carry out rather aggressive debt-collection and to punish those who don't play by the rules". Senza nessuna pietà will be distributed by BiM.

Franco Maresco, absent from cinemas for seven years following the end of his partnership with Daniele Ciprì, returns with Belluscone, una storia siciliana. "Belluscone" stands for Berlusconi and the movie recounts twenty years of Berlusconi seen from his electoral stronghold, Sicily, which provided the former prime minister with his resounding electoral victory in 2001, president of the Italian Senate, minister for Justice, head of Italian senators and various ministers. "A complex movie; it's dense, provocative and hugely significant", explained Festival director Barbera, "A personal film, in which Berlusconi's story is mixed with reflections on the mafia, at the end of an era, and during the artist's own crisis".

Obscene Life by Renato De Maria is the third Italian film in competition in Orizzonti. The female lead is the director's muse and partner, Isabella Ferrari, who accompanies the young Clément Métayer, together with Roberto De Francesco and Iaia Forte. The fillm is based on Aldo Nove's novel by the same name and tells the tale of a visionary and psychedelic journey, a trip into the hallucinatory world of a young boy's life (Métayer) and his altered vision, all the while awaiting an ending that never arrives. The screenplay was written by the Nove.

Out of competition we have the documentary On the Bride's Side, an Italian-Palestinian co-production created by Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande and Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry. A Palestinian-Syrian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who came ashore in Lampedusa fleeing the war; they decide to help them to continue their illegal journey to Sweden. Shot in real time it's the story of a real-life event that occurred between 14 and 18 November 2013.

(Translated from Italian)

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