Archive of films The Solitude of Prime Numbers / La solitudine dei numeri primi

Italy / Germany / France
2010, 118 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2011

One of the most intriguing contemporary young filmmakers to come out of Italy, Saverio Costanzo (In Memory of Me, KVIFF 2007) presents us with an adaptation of the extraordinarily successful first novel by Paolo Giordano about vulnerable Alice and her equally introverted friend Mattia, whose lives are marked by tragic events from their childhood.


Prime numbers can only be divided by themselves or by one, and, as such, they are inherently solitary phenomena. If two primes come together the result will be unpredictable, to say the least. This is the matematical-philosophical premise underlying the novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers by 26-year-old Italian physicist Paolo Giordano, published in 2008. The adaptation of the instantaneous bestseller was taken up by one of Italy’s most intriguing contemporary young filmmakers, Saverio Costanzo. The director (with script collaboration from Giordano himself) left key events in the novel unchanged yet, in contrast to the linear character of the original text, he adopted a very loose approach to the narrative structure of the film version. Employing fragments, ellipses and flashbacks, he presents the story of the vulnerable Alice and her equally introverted friend Mattia, two "prime numbers” whose lives, each unfolding along its own axis, are marked by two tragic episodes from their childhood. With strong emphasis on expressivity of sound and image, Costanzo succeeds in mediating a powerful sense of apprehension, fear and also rare intimacy.

About the director

Saverio Costanzo (b. 1975, Rome) studied sociology and communication theory at Sapienza University of Rome. He graduated in 1998 with a dissertation on American Italians in Brooklyn; he had previously spent two years in New York where he worked as a cameraman and also filmed the documentary Caffe Mille Luci, Brooklyn, New York (1999). His feature film debut Private (2004) received a Golden Leopard at the Locarno festival, and a David di Donatello as Italy’s Best New Director. The spiritual film In Memory of Me (In memoria di me), a loose adaptation of Furio Monicelli’s novel The Perfect Jesuit (Lacrime impure), was screened at KVIFF in 2007 in the section Focus on New Italian Directors. The Solitude of Prime Numbers was given its world premiere in competition at last year’s Venice festival.


Jirečkova 8, 170 00, Praha 7
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 947 566
Fax: +420 224 947 566
E-mail: [email protected]

Le Pacte
5, rue Darcet, 750 17, Paris
Tel: +33 144 695 959
Fax: +33 144 695 942
E-mail: [email protected]

Istituto Luce Cinecittà
Via Tuscolana 1055, 00173, Rome
Tel: +39 067 228 61
Fax: +39 067 222 493

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Saverio Costanzo
Screenplay: Saverio Constanzo podle stejnojmenného románu Paola Giordana / based on Paolo Giordano’s novel of the same name
Dir. of Photography: Fabio Cianchetti
Music: Mike Patton
Editor: Francesca Calvelli
Producer: Mario Gianani
Production: Offside
Cast: Alba Rohrwacher, Luca Marinelli, Maurizio Donadoni, Isabella Rossellini
Contact: Aerofilms, Le Pacte, Istituto Luce Cinecittà
Distributor: Aerofilms


Ivo Andrle


Serena Mazzi

Film Institution Rep.

Luca Marinelli


Rossella Rinaldi

Film Institution Rep.

Radim Habartík


Zuzana Pudilová



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