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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy

Gianni Amelio in competition in Venice with Lord of the Ants

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- The director’s new film, one of five Italian titles vying for the Golden Lion, tells the sensational story of the Braibanti case, with actor Luigi Lo Cascio in the leading role

Gianni Amelio in competition in Venice with Lord of the Ants
Luigi Lo Cascio in Il signore delle formiche

It is a story that provides food for thought very relevant to our current times about individual civil liberties and the concepts of norms and diversity: Lord of the Ants [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, by Gianni Amelio, selected in Competition at the 79th Venice Film Festival, is one of the five Italian films vying for the Golden Lion. Produced by Kavac Film, IBC Movie, and Tenderstories with Rai Cinema, the new film from the director of The Stolen Children (Special Grand Jury Prix winner in Cannes in 1992), Così ridevano (1998 Golden Lion in Venice) and more recently Hammamet [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, evokes the spectacular “Braibanti case” from the 1960s, which involved an intellectual close to Pasolini and Bertolucci. The script was written by Amelio together with Edoardo Petti and Enrico Fava.

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At the end of the 1960s a trial held in Rome caused a sensation. The playwright and poet Aldo Braibanti was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment on charges of plagiarism — that is, of having submitted to his will, in a physical and psychological sense, one of his students and friends who had only recently turned 18 years old. The boy, at the behest of his family, was locked up in a psychiatric hospital and subjected to a series of devastating electric shocks, intended to help him "recover" from this "diabolical" influence.

A few years later, the crime of plagiarism was removed from the penal code. But in reality, it had served to accuse all kinds of "different" people, anyone who lived outside the norm. Taking its cue from real events, the film tells a story from several different perspectives, where, alongside the accused, family and friends, accusers and supporters also take shape, as does a mostly distracted and indifferent public opinion. Only a journalist undertakes to reconstruct the truth, facing suspicion and censorship. 

Braibanti is played by Luigi Lo Cascio (winner of the David di Donatello award for One Hundred Steps and The Traitor [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Marco Bellocchio
film profile
]
, and of the Volpi Cup for Light of My Eyes [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, seen this year in Delta [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
); also in the film are Elio Germano (awarded in Cannes for his role in Our Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actor for Hidden Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Diritti
film profile
]
, seen recently in America Latina [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Sara Serraiocco (Best European Talent in Berlin for Chlorine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sara Serraiocco
film profile
]
, seen recently in Io sto bene [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
) and newcomer Leonardo Maltese. The cast also includes Anna Caterina Antonacci, Rita Bosello, Davide Vecchi, Maria Caleffi, Roberto Infurna, with the participation of Valerio Binasco, Alberto Cracco, Luca Lazzareschi, Elia Schilton, Giovanni Visentin and Fabio Zulli.

Lord of the Ants was made with support from the Emilia Romagna Region, the Lazio Region and the MiC. The film will be released in Italian cinemas on 8 September by 01 Distribution; international sales are handled by German company The Match Factory.

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(Translated from Italian)

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