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Ferzan Ozpetek

"Ordinary people’s dreams"


- The Turkish-born Italian director talks about his forthcoming La finestra di fronte, a film about the emotions and memories of ordinary people

Ferzan Ozpetek

Two years after the huge success his Ignorant Fairies engendered, Ferzan Ozpetek is back with a new film entitled La finestra di fronte [+see also:
interview: Ferzan Ozpetek
film profile
, scheduled for release by Mikado on 28 February. Set in Rome’s former ghetto, this is a film about the intimate dramas experienced by ordinary people. The three main characters are Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), a young woman plagued by uncertainty, who is spied on both by her next-door-neighbour, Lorenza (Raul Bova) and her husband, Filippo (Filippo Nigro). Any love that existed in her marriage has long gone, and the relationship consists in bringing up the children. There is also an old man called Davide (Massimo Girotti) trying to come to terms with a life of pain and losses that began in the autumn of 1943.

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Where did you get the idea for this film?
"Many years ago near the Ponte Sisto in Rome, I came across an old man with money in his hand who said he did not know who he was. Initially, like Giovanna does in the film, I thought he was trying it on, but he said that this was the first time he’d left the safety of his home in thirty years and the changes he was seeing had frightened the life out of him. There is a reason for Davide’s confusion: he was a concentration camp prisoner who, unlike the overwhelming majority, survived. That Gianni Romoli and my starting point. We cross-pollinated this story with that of a couple undergoing a full-blown crisis in their relationship."

Does your film contain a political message?
"I tell the stories I hear about, I never follow any particular logic but rather tend to listen to my heart. Despite the references I make to historical events, I don’t want La finestra di fronte to be considered as a political film. I wanted to portray the present day in light of past events. One’s emotions and the anxiety we all feel are always good starting points. "

Who are Giovanna and Filippo?
"Luckily we all share a desire to know who we really are, otherwise our lives would be flat. I portray the dreams of ordinary people who are not searching for success, but rather for things that will make them happy. Giovanna and Filippo aren’t scared of love: they are scared of having responsibilities, bonds. Giovanna decides to stay with her husband and children not because the family is the better option but thanks to the relationship she has built up with Davide, the old man."

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(Translated from Italian)

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