Archive of films Don't Be Bad / Non essere cattivo

2015, 102 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2016

1995, the Roman suburb of Ostia. Pals Vittorio and Cesare live 24/7 with the pedal to the metal: discos, drugs, alcohol, fast cars – it’s all about living for the moment. Will their bond survive after Vittorio, influenced by a traumatic experience, decides to turn his life around? This subtle drama was one of the top Italian pictures of last autumn.


Thirty-two years after the cult film Toxic Love, which uncovered Italy’s young heroin scene for cinema-goers at the time, Claudio Caligari returns to Rome’s peripheries, flooded with sun, poverty and aimless young men who earn a living selling drugs and committing the occasional burglary. But this film, made by an experienced documentarist, is not just another social drama. Like Pasolini, in this hopeless world of brief joys Caligari finds moments of pure humanity, and in the friendships of the street kids he sees a bond stronger than brotherhood. Vittorio and Cesare, who have wandered the streets of Ostia since childhood, are like brothers themselves. They are both twenty years old, and they consider honest work an insult – as dealers, they are the kings of every party. But after a bad drug experience Vittorio suddenly decides to call it a day and, with the help of Linda, he starts to live a decent life. But his good fortune is a curse for Cesare who, without his partner, loses the only thing that kept him going…

Nikola Paggio

About the director

Claudio Caligari (1948, Arona, Itálie – 2015, Rome) explored the world of drugs and revolutionary movements in the 1960s as a documentary filmmaker. In 1983 he forged these experiences into the feature film Toxic Love (Amore tossico), a raw look at the world of heroin addicts. Made using non-professional actors, it became a cult film for several generations. It was shown and won awards at festivals in Venice, Valencia and San Sebastián. Caligari returned to directing 15 years later with The Scent of the Night (L’odore della notte, 1998), which was inspired by Dido Sacchettoni’s book about a real-life gang of criminals who terrorized wealthy Romans in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Don’t Be Bad concludes not only this trilogy, but also his lifelong search for an uncompromisingly truthful, unadorned depiction of life. Claudio Caligari died at the age of 67, shortly after editing his last film.


RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. - Direzione Commerciale
Via Umberto Novaro 18, 00195, Rome
Tel: +39 063 749 8244
Fax: +39 063 751 6222

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Claudio Caligari
Screenplay: Claudio Caligari, Giordano Meassi, Francesca Sefarini
Dir. of Photography: Maurizio Calvesi
Music: Cristiano Balducci
Editor: Mauro Bonanni
Art Director: Giada Calabria
Producer: Paolo Bogna
Production: Kimerafilm
Coproduction: Rai Cinema, Taodue Film
Cast: Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Silvia D'Amico, Roberta Mattei
Sales: RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. - Direzione Commerciale


Valerio Mastandrea



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