Selfie, using an iPhone to talk about a troubled Neapolitan neighbourhood
by Camillo De Marco
- Agostino Ferrente's documentary, selected at the Berlinale, tells the story of a troubled neighbourhood, where joining the Camorra mafia is less of a choice and more of an inevitability
Rione Traiano, Naples. Despite originally being destined for the homeless living in shantytowns along Naples' waterfront after WWI, the area soon turned into a ghetto of sorts. Teenagers Alessandro Antonelli and Pietro Orlando use an iPhone to talk about their difficult neighbourhood, their daily lives, and their friendship in Selfie [+see also:
film profile], Agostino Ferrente’s latest documentary, which has been selected to world premiere in the Panorama section at the Berlinale in 2019 (from 7 to 17 February). Alexander and Peter also talk about the tragic story of their friend David, who was killed by a police officer when he was just fifteen, after being mistaken for a fugitive. And if it happened to David, it could easily happen to any one of them. A fact that prompted the director to give them a phone with which to film their daily lives.
Selfie is a French-Italian co-production by Magneto and Arte France, in collaboration with CDV Casa delle Visioni and RAI Cinema, with the Istituto Luce Cinecittà handling the film’s Italian release. The screenplay was written by Ferrente himself, who also directed the award-winning film The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio [+see also:
film profile] in 2006 and Le cose belle [+see also:
film profile]with GiovanniPiperno in 2014. Letizia Caudullo will editthe film incollaboration with Chiara Russo, while Andrea Pesce will be composing the film’s soundtrack.
"A film built entirely on glances," the production notes state, "which seeks the most appropriate mimetic language to focus on a story that can now be independently told on social media by two protagonists who present an idea of themselves via a smartphone. A film entirely shot in 'video-selfie' mode and one that talks about a world where becoming a member of the Camorra mafia is not a choice, but an inevitability from the moment you’re born. Alessandro and Pietro do everything they can to resist this fate, defending their desire for a normal life".
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.