Banat: A voyage through uncertainty
by Camillo De Marco
- VENICE 2015: The film by Adriano Valerio, the only Italian title present in the Venice Film Festival Critics’ Week, is a co-production with Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia
“What am I doing here?” wondered Bruce Chatwin, thus lending the same name to his collection of travel tales. Ivo (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a Tuscan agronomist who has just left Bari to accept a job in Romania, is also wondering the same thing. He utters the phrase as he stares at a neon light shrouded in fog in a small village in the middle of nowhere. The sense of disorientation is the overriding element in Banat (Il viaggio) [+see also:
film profile] by Adriano Valerio, the only Italian film selected in the Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival.
Disorientation also pervaded 37°4 S, a short film by Valerio that was awarded at Cannes 2013 and at the David di Donatello Awards. Like so many other European auteurs, in his feature debut the young director tackles the topic of the jobs crisis and its consequences, and he does this by showing the emotional displacement of the younger generations. Ivo met Clara (Elena Radonicich) right before he left Italy, and something blossomed between them. Clara, who has just lost her job in Bari, will join him in a few days’ time and will be by his side throughout the uncertainty that reigns in this country. Everything starts to falls apart when Ivo suggests to his crisis-riddled employer, Ion (Stefan Velniciuc), to cut down on the distribution costs of his vegetables. Someone sets fire to the company, and Ion will then have to reveal a secret that he has been keeping hidden since the years of the Ceausescu dictatorship.
Banat was produced by Mario Mazzarotto and Emanuele Nespeca for Movimento Film, together with Rai Cinema. It was co-produced with Ars Digital for Bulgaria and Parada Film for Romania (Child’s Pose [+see also:
interview: Calin Peter Netzer
film profile], winner of the Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlinale), and for the first time sees Macedonia involved in a project that was co-produced with Italy, through Kt Film and Media. The movie was also made with the support of the MEDIA Programme and with backing from the Apulia Film Commission.
(Translated from Italian)