Archive of films The Italian / L´ Italiano

2002, 90 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2002

For over ten years, thousands of Albanians have flooded into Italy in the hope of a better life. The majority of them have been expelled several times and the most hardy of them keep trying again and again to return. From this background comes the story of Giorgio, who is convinced that he has a right to be an Italian. His dreams come crashing down when he abuses the trust of someone who was willing to help him.


The film is set on two different time planes. In 1991, after the fall of the Communist regime in Albania, young Giorgio and thousands of other illegal immigrants make their way to southern Italy. He is convinced that he has a greater claim to becoming an Italian than the majority of his compatriots: his Albanian grandmother became pregnant by an Italian member of Mussolini’s occupying forces. When he arrives in the native mountain village of his forefather, it turns out that his “grandfather” has died and that, moreover, the majority of the inhabitants have left the mountains for an easier life down in the valley. After initial misgivings, those who have stayed accept the new “Italian” among them, particularly thanks to Silvestro, who has decided to support him. The Italian helps the villagers burn their charcoal, he helps them in the fields and it almost seems as if his dream of finding a new homeland has been fulfilled. The idyll, however, is spoiled when he falls for Silvestro’s fiancée. Revenge is not long in coming and Giorgio is banished from the region. When we meet him again eight years later, we discover he has had to move on several times and, most importantly, has had to abandon his former ideals. Now he is caught in the net of mafia mobs that run the prostitution racket, and all attempts to leave this vicious circle are futile.

About the director

Ennio De Dominicis studied stage design and philosophy. In 1984 he directed a production of Sophocles’ Antigone, in 1985 he became art director for theatre and film at Rome’s Technical University. After a series of notable stage productions, he made the medium-length film Niente stasera in 1992, in 1993 Antiche fiabe siciliani (Old Sicilian Tales, video) and a biographical film about the late actor Salvo Randone (Salvo Randone: le parole del silenzio, 1994). For video he also made the portrait Gianni Di Venanzo – maestro della fotografia. The Italian is his feature debut.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Ennio De Dominicis
Screenplay: Ennio De Dominicis, Varo Ventura, M. Wisa Fusconi
Dir. of Photography: Saverio Guarna
Music: Olen Cesari
Editor: Babak Karimi
Producer: Andrea de Liberato
Production: Poetiche Cinematografiche
Cast: Mehmet Günsür, Sonia Aqowo, Luca Lionello, Yuliya Mayarchuk

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