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ROMEFILMFEST Extra

Giovanna Taviani: Change of course

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Expatriation as existential and cultural reflection, especially in immigrants who, even occasionally, manage to return to their country, reappropriating the roots and ties they abandoned years earlier.

This is the idea behind Homecomings (Ritorni, in the Extra section of the RomeFilmFest) by Giovanna Taviani, whose interest was piqued by an article read last year, entitled “Ferie d’Africa” (lit. “African Holidays”). “In the article, I was immediately struck by the idea of an exodus in reverse, of a backwards journey with respect to the desperate course that thousands of refugees tread along the African coasts. I decided to follow these characters from up close. I wanted to return to their origins with them and discover, through them, a complex and often contradictory world”, explained the director of her second documentary.

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With this intent, Taviani conducts her contemplation in the company of three “excellent” émigrés: Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, who vacations in Tangiers every summer; Algerian director and French-language writer Assia Djebar, a voluntary exile and dissident who had not returned to Algeria since the 1990s; and Karim Hannachi, a Tunisian teacher of Arabic and head of the Maghreb community in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, where he arrived as a young man and currently lives with his Sicilian wife and children. The filmmaker travels physically as well with Hannachi, accompanying him to his reunion with his family in Nefta.

From the united voices of the three North African protagonists emerge similar sensations, ascribable to the concepts of the contamination of cultures, conflicts of identity and nostalgia. Taviani’s work maintains a descriptive tone tinged with the poetical, aiding the elevated aspects of her subjects’ cultural extraction, thus offering an interesting, sensitive and never banal fresco of a phenomenon that has rarely been portrayed.

The film is an Italian/French co-production between Nuvola Film and G. B. Palumbo Editore with a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Culture, in Italy, and French company Yenta Production.

RomeFilmFest/Extra – Italy Giovanna Taviani: Change of course Expatriation as existential and cultural reflection, especially in immigrants who, even occasionally, manage to return to their country, reappropriating the roots and ties they abandoned years earlier.

This is the idea behind Homecomings (Ritorni, in the Extra section of the RomeFilmFest) by Giovanna Taviani, whose interest was piqued by an article read last year, entitled “Ferie d’Africa” (lit. “African Holidays”). “In the article, I was immediately struck by the idea of an exodus in reverse, of a backwards journey with respect to the desperate course that thousands of refugees tread along the African coasts. I decided to follow these characters from up close. I wanted to return to their origins with them and discover, through them, a complex and often contradictory world”, explained the director of her second documentary.

With this intent, Taviani conducts her contemplation in the company of three “excellent” émigrés: Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, who vacations in Tangiers every summer; Algerian director and French-language writer Assia Djebar, a voluntary exile and dissident who had not returned to Algeria since the 1990s; and Karim Hannachi, a Tunisian teacher of Arabic and head of the Maghreb community in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, where he arrived as a young man and currently lives with his Sicilian wife and children. The filmmaker travels physically as well with Hannachi, accompanying him to his reunion with his family in Nefta.

From the united voices of the three North African protagonists emerge similar sensations, ascribable to the concepts of the contamination of cultures, conflicts of identity and nostalgia. Taviani’s work maintains a descriptive tone tinged with the poetical, aiding the elevated aspects of her subjects’ cultural extraction, thus offering an interesting, sensitive and never banal fresco of a phenomenon that has rarely been portrayed.

The film is an Italian/French co-production between Nuvola Film and G. B. Palumbo Editore with a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Culture, in Italy, and French company Yenta Production.

RomeFilmFest/Extra – Italy Giovanna Taviani: Change of course Expatriation as existential and cultural reflection, especially in immigrants who, even occasionally, manage to return to their country, reappropriating the roots and ties they abandoned years earlier.

This is the idea behind Homecomings (Ritorni, in the Extra section of the RomeFilmFest) by Giovanna Taviani, whose interest was piqued by an article read last year, entitled “Ferie d’Africa” (lit. “African Holidays”). “In the article, I was immediately struck by the idea of an exodus in reverse, of a backwards journey with respect to the desperate course that thousands of refugees tread along the African coasts. I decided to follow these characters from up close. I wanted to return to their origins with them and discover, through them, a complex and often contradictory world”, explained the director of her second documentary.

With this intent, Taviani conducts her contemplation in the company of three “excellent” émigrés: Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, who vacations in Tangiers every summer; Algerian director and French-language writer Assia Djebar, a voluntary exile and dissident who had not returned to Algeria since the 1990s; and Karim Hannachi, a Tunisian teacher of Arabic and head of the Maghreb community in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, where he arrived as a young man and currently lives with his Sicilian wife and children. The filmmaker travels physically as well with Hannachi, accompanying him to his reunion with his family in Nefta.

From the united voices of the three North African protagonists emerge similar sensations, ascribable to the concepts of the contamination of cultures, conflicts of identity and nostalgia. Taviani’s work maintains a descriptive tone tinged with the poetical, aiding the elevated aspects of her subjects’ cultural extraction, thus offering an interesting, sensitive and never banal fresco of a phenomenon that has rarely been portrayed.

The film is an Italian/French co-production between Nuvola Film and G. B. Palumbo Editore with a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Culture, in Italy, and French company Yenta Production.

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(Translated from Italian)

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