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Gianni Amelio • Director

My generation is responsible for young people’s fragility


- The director speaks about L'Intrepido, in competition at the Venice Film Festival. A film that divided critics

Gianni Amelio • Director

L'Intrepido [+see also:
film review
interview: Gianni Amelio
film profile
 by Gianni Amelio, the second Italian film to be in competition at the Venice Film Festival, divided critics. One of the reasons for this is a Chaplin-like ending, which was too consolatory. “We all need to witness something which does not leave a bitter taste in our mouths. We need a film which makes us dream after we are confronted with reality,” the director said, defending himself. “Even when I made more dramatic films, I tried to let a glimmer of hope shine through in the last few scenes. And here, light completely takes the scene over.”

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Cineuropa met Gianni Amelio together with main actor Antonio Abanese and two young stars Livia Rossi and Gabriele Rendina. “My character was one of great dignity, who works with his hands, just like I did when I was young in order to get through my studies,” Albanese said. “I have always been interested in telling the story of our times in this way, with softness, even in the darkest of moments.”

The film certainly tells the story of the unemployed – be it young ones, or old ones – with dark takes too. Gianni Amelio: “L'intrepido shows the reality in which we are immersed without pretending to have a documentary spirit, if you want that, all you need to do is watch television news. This is about the experience of people I know well, of young people. We didn’t want to throw ourselves into an accusatory film. We wanted something ironic and sarcastic. We chose a man like many others, Antonio Pane, who becomes an ordinary hero in his choices and in the strength it takes him to get out of his house every day and start from scratch.

Then there is the father-son relationship between Antonio and Ivo.  “Antonio’s strength is that he puts himself physically into his son’s shoes, materially taking his position. Words are no longer enough to give young people an example. Gestures are more important because they remain. It looks like he helps his son change, but in fact it is the opposite.”

“As representative of my generation,” the director added, “I feel guilty. My generation is perhaps the one that did the worst. What world are we leaving for those who are 20 today? Despite everything, Antonio finds it easier to live compared to the two 20-year-olds who are deprived of any structure or hope.”

Antonio escapes from Italy and goes to work in a mine in Albania. “When he realises that what brings him the most dignity is also the dirtiest of jobs, he escapes and returns underground,” Amelio explained. “To then start from scratch, at the heart of earth itself.”

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(Translated from Italian)

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