Che cos’è un Manrico to open in Italian theatres in April
by Camillo De Marco
- Following The Medicine Seller, Antonio Morabito is returning to the big screen with a documentary that Istituto Luce has “rediscovered” and rereleased
After all the debate triggered by The Medicine Seller [+see also:
film profile], starring Claudio Santamaria and Isabella Ferrari, Antonio Morabito is making a return to the big screen in April with Che cos’è un Manrico (lit. “What Is a Manrico?”), a documentary that Istituto Luce has now “rediscovered” and decided to rerelease in theatres, in a new, re-edited version of the work that was made three years ago.
Che cos’è un Manrico portrays one week of summer in a boiling, sun-drenched Rome, which is seething with tourists. During this week, we follow Manrico, a 30-year-old sufferer of dystrophy who can only move his head and his thumbs, and Stefano, his carer.
Che cos’è un Manrico is not a film about dystrophy or disability; it’s a comedy, a drama, a little gem, a road movie that is both surreal and extremely real, with a dystrophic man as the main character. We tag along on the two friends’ journey across the city as it weaves its way through pothole-riddled streets, via ice-cream parlours, complicated lifts, hockey matches, songs, sexual fantasies and reminiscing, traffic, sun, uncontrollable grannies, social networks, quick-fire gags, and deep (or miscellaneous) confessions.
Like a city-dwelling Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Manrico and his squire show us everyday things as if they were breath-taking adventures. With a particular bluntness that is bolstered by candour and a wide grin, they show us day-to-day life as we are unable to see it.
Che cos’è un Manrico has been turned into a film not about disabled people, but rather one for “normal” people (or more or less normal people) and about how much it is possible to embrace life and greet everything – absolutely everything – with a laugh and a smile.
(Translated from Italian)