The Repentant: the Ndrangheta infiltrates Cartoon Movie
by Fabien Lemercier
- Staged by Dreamscape Movies together with British outfit MovieVentures, the project delves into the heart of the most powerful Mafia in Europe
After the Neapolitans in Gomorrah [+see also:
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile], the Romans from the Magliana Gang in Romanzo Criminale [+see also:
interview: Michele Placido
film profile] and the countless other plots born of the misdeeds of the many-tentacled Mafia, cinema (as demonstrated by Black Souls [+see also:
interview: Francesco Munzi
film profile], which was in competition at Venice last year) has recently set sail for Calabria, the birthplace of the Ndrangheta, the most powerful (and most low-key) of the world’s mafias. And television is not to be outdone, as Marco Tullio Giordana is currently shooting Se ti diranno di me, a TV film based on the tragic fate of Lea Garofalo, who blew the whistle on his clan’s activities (a subject that had the lid blown off it in France last year in the documentary Mafia: la trahison des femmes – lit. “Mafia: the Betrayal of the Women” – by Barbara Conforti). And now animation will have its turn to try to invest in this subject area with The Repentant, selected among the 21 projects “In Development” presented at the 17th Cartoon Movie, which will draw to a close tonight in Lyon.
The story of The Repentant (which will be shot in English) revolves around a man whose life has, even from an early age, been influenced by the environment of his native Calabria and by his destiny within the Ndrangheta. Giorgio Jocante is the manager of his own plumbing business when he falls victim to an attempt by the Mafia to intimidate him. But the inquiry undertaken by the anti-Mafia branch of the police uncovers another side to Giorgio. In reality, he leads a double life, as he is the number-one hit man for the powerful Gorbani family, who run the city and the activities at the port of Gioia Tauro. Placed in solitary confinement, Giorgio surrenders to self-reflection, a process that will be interrupted by the appearance of the investigating judge, who happens to be a childhood friend of his...
Jean-Pierre Quenet is helming the project for Paris-based outfit Dreamscape Movies. When Cineuropa caught up with him, the former head of the Disney France studios explained why this subject had appealed to him. “A few years ago, a former Mafioso-turned-police-witness who wanted to give evidence about the path he had taken contacted one of my friends who was living in Italy. She spoke to me about it, and after a while, the idea caught on. As Waltz with Bashir [+see also:
film profile] proved so effectively, it’s important for animation to also be able to serve to speak out against things and, in this case, to shine a spotlight on today’s most powerful and most dangerous mafia: the Ndrangheta. I gathered a lot of material and did some in-depth research, I thought about a dramatic structure for it, and I wrote the screenplay myself. Technically speaking, the project will entail filming the actors against a green screen, then creating the scenery and the views behind them so that the viewers will be able to really make out the way the characters move. The British firm Movie Ventures is already on board as a co-producer, and we have also joined forces on several other projects. For The Repentant, we are looking for distributors, but also another co-producer in order to divide up the work.”
Blending film noir with an “in camera” movie that progresses by means of flashbacks, The Repentant, which will be shot in English, has a core target audience of 18- to 30-year-olds and a broader target audience of 15- to 45-year-olds. Interestingly, the rough cut for the project will be entrusted to brothers Gaëtan and Paul Brizzi, who have returned to France after almost 20 years working on animated productions in Hollywood.
(Translated from French)