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BIF&ST 2016

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Amo la tempesta: The kidnapping of runaway brains


- A group of parents decides to kidnap and bring their children, who have emigrated abroad, back to Italy in this surreal comedy directed by Maurizio Losi, screened in the Nuove proposte section at Bari

Amo la tempesta: The kidnapping of runaway brains

Can the woe of a parent whose son emigrates abroad turn into a plan to save the Italian economy? This is exactly what happens in the debut piece by Maurizio Losi, Amo la tempesta, a surreal comedy set in a suburban Milan abandoned by its young talent, inhabited by sorrowful mothers and fathers who hatch a plan to bring home their children – children who have, in the meantime, become well-established university researchers – and use them to kick start the economy of a asphyxiated country, Italy.

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Screened at the Bif&st in Bari (2-9 April 2016) in the Nuove proposte italiane section, Amo la tempesta is a comedy, but one with bittersweet tones, just like the face of its protagonist, Nando Paone (who recently featured in Un paese quasi perfetto [+see also:
film review
film profile
). The Neapolitan actor, the picture of humour and fragility, plays Angelo, a school bus driver who is separated from his wife and pushed around at work, who lives in hope that he will be able to find a job for his son, who has emigrated to Germany, and get him to come home.

But when he discovers that other parents in his district are in the same boat, his plans change: they might as well join forces – giving rise to a true task force that catalogues the “traitors” on the basis of professional qualifications and level of ingratitude – to go and bring back these kids. And so Angelo, accompanied by the cry “let’s bring our heritage back to Italy”, leaves with his school bus for Germany where, one after the other, he picks up seven young know-it-alls in white coats from their terraced houses, and drags them along in a bizarre road movie, tied up and gagged (a true kidnapping of runaway brains) as none of them have the slightest intention of returning to Italy. The last one on the list is his son…

“More so that providing socio-economic solutions, the film aims to convey the emotional state of parents who stand by and watch their children flee”, explains Maurizio Losi. “A transnational hot topic” tackled with a healthy dose of irony and paradox and a few poetic moments, in a piece that focuses on the desire to keep families together. A nice idea, which gives you a taste of what is right but not possible.

Among the many actors that feature in this film, which was shot in Italy and Germany with the support of the Bayern Film Commission, are Toni Sperandeo, who, for once, isn’t playing the bad guy, Maya Sansa, who, for a good part of the film, is just a sensual voice, and Eleonora Giovanardi, the young co-protagonist of Quo vado? [+see also:
making of
film profile
. Produced by Exen Films, the director’s company, Amo la tempesta is due to be released in theatres next autumn.

(Translated from Italian)

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