Archive of films Caiman / Il caimano

Italy / France
2006, 112 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2006

The celebrated Italian filmmaker, famed for his responses to the political situation in his country, for his new film, selected for competition at Cannes this year, focused on a man obsessed by his desire for power. From his position as a commercial television mogul, the central character, in whom we easily recognise Silvio Berlusconi, heads towards a glittering political career, via somewhat dishonest means, but effective all the same. When he faces an independent court ruling, the power-hungry politician is determined to take all measures necessary…


Bruno Bonomo (Silvio Orlando) is one of the few Italian producers still putting his money on “B” movies, long since edged out both by Hollywood and by home-grown writer-directors. Up to his eyes in debt and his marriage in tatters, his final hope of salvation comes in the form of a film script brought to him by a young girl, an aspiring film director. It’s called The Caiman, and Bruno, hoping for a regular political thriller, gradually discovers that it is, in fact, the life story of Silvio Berlusconi. Since he can’t pull out now, he has no choice but to find a financial backer for the film, and also someone to play the lead, which isn’t easy. Nevertheless, the problems he now has to solve seem to awaken in him new vitality and new faith in his own worth. Nanni Moretti reflects the political reality of his country in almost all his films. This time he has succeeded in capturing the rise and preconditions of the fall of a specific figure on the Italian political scene. Of particular note are the moments where the filmmaker illustrates the way in which political power is acquired through the control of commercial television.

About the director

Nanni Moretti

Nanni Moretti (b. 1953, Brunico, Bolzano), leading Italian actor, director and producer, founder of the production and distribution company Nuova Sacher, began his career as a director in the 1970s with the films I am Self-Sufficient (Io sono un autarchico, 1976) and Ecce Bombo (1977), reflecting a period of resistance against the established order. During the 1980s he was already being regarded as one of the biggest hopes in Italian cinema with his films Sweet Dreams (Sogni d’oro, 1981), Sweet Body of Bianca (Bianca, 1983) and The Mass Is Ended (La messa e finita (1985). His left-wing, but strongly individualistic orientation came through in other films, such as Red Wood Pigeon (La palombella rossa, 1989), Dear Diary (Caro diario, 1993) and April (Aprile, 1997). He won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for his intimate drama The Son’s Room (La stanza del figlio, 2001). He returned to politics in the film The Caiman, screened in competition at this year’s Cannes IFF.


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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Nanni Moretti
Screenplay: Nanni Moretti, Federica Pontremoli, Francesco Piccolo
Dir. of Photography: Arnaldo Catinari
Music: Franco Piersanti
Editor: Esmeralda Calabria
Producer: Angelo Barbagallo
Production: Sacher Film, BAC Films, Stephan Films, France 3 Cinéma
Cast: Silvio Orlando, Margherita Buy, Jasmine Trinca, Nanni Moretti, Jerzy Stuhr
Contact: Wild Bunch

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