Alberto Fasulo • Director
“I believe films can really speak when they are personal”
by Elisa Cimino
- Friuli director Alberto Fasulo is once more on the road to present his film TIR in Italian movie theatres
Friuli director Alberto Fasulo, winner of the Golden Marco Aurelio at the last Rome Film Festival, is once more on the road to present his film TIR [+see also:
interview: Alberto Fasulo
film profile]. Selected in a number of different international festivals (Belfort, Lubiana, Vilnius, Maya Film Festival in Mexico), the film is about to come out in movie theatres. In order to make TIR, Fasulo’s camera followed actor Branko Zavrsan for a few months as he became a lorry driver, taken on by an Italian transportation company. Fiction mixed with reality delivered a sincere testimonial - deep and touching – on the conditions of lorry drivers from Eastern Europe, prepared to spend long stretches of time away from their families if it means becoming better off. Cineuropa met Alberto Fasulo.
Cineuropa: How did the idea of TIR come about?
It happened one evening in 2000. I took a wrong train. Instead of being on my way to Naples, I found myself on the way to Florence. There weren’t any trains left for Naples, and there was a train strike scheduled for the next day. The only solution was to try and hitchhike. A lorry driver gave me a ride and I discovered that a lorry cabin can be something of a home. I saw in this lorry driver the emblem of modern life, in which workers are asked for mobility and sacrifice. My guiding question was: why does a father decide to live far away from his children, from his family ties, in order to better support them? And then – what does “better” mean?
The life of a lorry driver is a sacrifice in itself, but in your film, you expose a kind of exploitation mechanism from the companies employing the workers. Branko is forced to follow orders without knowing which country he will end up in the next day, or when he will be able to return home. Is what your film depicts an extreme case, or is this the norm?
It is the norm. There is a trend going on right now seeing a great deal of lorry drivers from Eastern Europe working in the west. A worker needs to drive for 400, sometimes 800 kilometres to get home. It makes sense to do four or five weeks on the road and then go home. The problem is that this is easy for companies, who take advantage of this and they force their employees to do excruciating shifts.
Branko, the fake lorry driver meets Maki, a real one. How did you work with them?
We constantly talked about the topics that I found interesting. At some points while they were working, the directing was very simple and boiled down to just a few elements. I was part of all that, despite me being silent. Maki has an innate talent for acting, and directing him was a piece of cake.
The film came out in Italian movie theatres in its original language, Slovenian. Something quite rare in a country used to foreign films being translated. It was a challenge…
Yes, it was a distribution choice (Tucker Film) and I am personally very happy about the result. The public I met responded with great enthusiasm despite not being used to reading subtitles. For me it was a great objective.
Cinema made in the Friuli Venice Giulia region is going through a gilded age. The Special Need [+see also:
film profile] by Carlo Zoratti is continuing to receive awards in international festivals, Zoran, my nephew the idiot [+see also:
interview: Matteo Oleotto
film profile] by Matteo Oleotto is being distributed across half of Europe, and TIR won at the Rome Film Festival. How do you feel about these successes?
They are the result of a forward looking Fondo Audiovisivo Regionale, which has enabled projects to be developed, helping them be written, find European partners and interact with markets. Carlo and I emigrated to Rome in order to get involved in cinema and obviously to return back to our land and tell the story of what belongs to us is a great thing. I think films can really speak well when they are personal.
You recently founded the Nefertiti Film production company together with Nadia Trevisan. What are your projects?
We are working with Chiara Malta on a little film to teach children the alphabet and we are finishing my little documentary on the world of parents who have disabilities. We don’t just produce my own films, but also others we fall in love with. For us, the film’s intent is important, as well as creating relationships with different societies and filmmakers who have an artisanal idea. Small films, which have clear ideas.
(Translated from Italian)
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