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ROME FILM FESTIVAL Italy

Utopia becomes reality in We Can Do That

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A Milanese businessman and a handful of “mad people” are the protagonists of Giulio Manfredonia’s We Can Do That [+see also:
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, which reflects on the possibility of turning small utopias into reality. The film was presented out of competition this morning in the Official Section at the 3rd Rome International Film Festival, which closes tomorrow with the awards ceremony.

The film tells the story of Nello, a businessman who in the 1980s (the decade during which Milan was the centre of the emerging hedonism and luxury lifestyles) decides to open a cooperative specialising in decorative parquet. The company has one unusual feature: its workers are all mentally ill people recently released from a psychiatric hospital upon the introduction of the Basaglia Law. They are thus given the opportunity to start a new life.

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Real life turns out to be more complicated than expected and the patients have to face completely new experiences, such as love, responsibility and future prospects. Another of the film’s main themes is the difficulty in drawing a line between sanity and insanity.

As lead actor Claudio Bisio (best known in Italy as a TV comedian) commented at the press conference: “The film’s main strength is that it’s based on a true story. People like Nello really existed and made this small utopia reality”. The director emphasised that the film’s balanced approach lies in “its focus on the characters, their stories and lives, as well as their emotions”.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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