Oscar, not quite a child anymore, scavenges for scrap metal for his father. He spends his life in improvised landfills among what remains of leftovers. Worlds apart, yet close-by, there is Stanley. He tidies the church in exchange for a monetised hospitality, picks fruits, herds sheep: anything that keep his foreign body busy.
Oscar, the young Sicilian, and Stanley the Nigerian don’t seem to have much in common. Except for the feeling of being thrown into the world, to suffer the same refusal, the same overwhelming wave of choices imposed on them by others.
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
2020 World Premiere: Visions du Réel – International Feature-length Competition
2020 International Premiere: Festival de Cannes ACID
2020 Encounters Documentary Film Festival (African Premiere)
2020 Makedox (Balkan Premiere)
2020 Human Rights Film Festival Inconvenient Films, Lithuania
Upcoming: Busan International Film Festival (October 21-30), IDFA (November 18-29)
Il mio corpo is a film in which silences and looks say a lot more than words, a film both violently direct and poetic in which the light becomes blinding and the shadows ephemeral refuge for two drifting bodies. Cineuropa
The two protagonists of Michele Pennetta’s beautiful, quietly scorching documentary have nothing in common except, maybe, everything: they share a kind of looming futurelessness, a melancholy awareness of the inescapability of their hard, poor circumstances and a reliance on the forbiddingly arid landscapes of economically ravaged Sicily to provide a living. Variety
Pennetta’s graceful, 80-minute third film, selected as part of Cannes’ ACID selection, feels like a culmination in more ways than just length, as it also finds his aesthetic philosophy at its most refined. The quietness of the approach — it is unusual to come across a documentary of even the most rigorously observational kind, in which the “voice” of its maker is so reverently hushed — coupled to the atmospheric lyricism that infuses Paolo Ferrari’s wonderful cinematography, creates a potent, sometimes transcendent whole that continues settling on you and expanding within you long after the film ends. Variety
DIRECTORS’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Born in Varese (Italy) in 1984. He followed and obtained the Master in cinematographic production at the Haute Ecole D’Art et de Design de Genève (HEAD) and the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) in 2010. His diploma film “I cani abbaiano” has been selected in several festivals.
In 2013 began his collaboration with Joëlle Bertossa of Close Up Films and directed the medium-length film “‘ A iucata “which won the Pardino d´Oro at the Locarno Festival and was also named Best Swiss short film. He pursued a career in numerous international festivals, also obtaining the Best Film award at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence.
The interest in his country of origin and his news leads him to write and direct his first feature film “Pescatori di Corpi”, presented in Premiere in international competition at the 69th Festival in Locarno (2016). His second film “Il mio Corpo” was selected in the international feature film competition at the 51th Vision du Réel.
2020 Il mio corpo (Documentary)
2016 Pescatori di corpi (Documentary)
2013 ‘A iucata (Documentary short)
2011 Profondo Amore (Short)
2010 I cani abbaiano (Documentary short)
Il mio corpo is the third film I am shooting in Sicily. ‘In Iucata, my first film, was an immersion in the world of clandestine horse racing, while Pescatori di Corpi worked to tell the daily life of a crew of illegal fishermen and that of a refugee living on board a ‘an abandoned boat. These two realities had as a backdrop the theme of the underground in Sicily.
This new film thus extends my reflection by trying to put it into perspective with the situation of abandonment in which the inhabitants of the island find themselves.
By staying for a long time in the region, I was indeed struck by the feeling of wandering on the scene of a former atomic disaster: everything there seems disused, as if a nuclear bomb had exploded and had to be rebuilt in from scratch. As if, precisely, nothing had rebuilt and that he simply had
in this setting, we had to continue to live. I would like to show this “afterlife”, to feel this atmosphere of the end of the world that emerges from these places bearing the stigmata of an unspectacular but very real disaster: the end of an economic activity, the rampant unemployment, slow environmental degradation against a background of the misery experienced by migrants and the precariousness of young Sicilians with no future and no prospects, forced to go underground.
In the center of Sicily, which is like a closed room from which it is possible to get out but not to move away, Oscar and Stanley unwittingly live an initiatory quest, linked to each other by this situation of abandonment, to the image of the region in which they evolve. Juxtaposed, the two portraits weave a network of individual situations that will echo each other and will thus be possible to reveal the traces of a hidden drama. Il mio corpo show two ambiguous characters and refuse to adopt a Manichean point of view that would make these young men either victims or heroes. I try to question the part of institutional and individual responsibility in each person’s life choices.
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
A graduate from the film school INSAS in Brussels in 1999, Joëlle Bertossa worked on several films as a first director’s assistant before being hired by Nicolas Wadimoff at Akka Films in 2003 where she produced such films as AISHEEN, STILL ALIVE IN GAZA. In 2012, Joëlle founded Geneva-based Close Up Films. Since then, she has produced around 20 documentaries and 6 fictions, among which LEA TSEMEL, a documentary directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche, which premiered at Sundance and went on winning awards at several festivals. Most recently, she coproduced the feature films YALDA, A NIGHT FOR FORGIVENESS by Massoud Bakhshi, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and Philippe Garrel’s THE SALT OF TEARS, which premiered as part of the Berlinale’s Official Selection in 2020.
Joëlle Bertossa, Owner & Producer
+41 78 665 05 12
Flavia Zanon, Co-owner & Producer
Joëlle Bertossa & Flavia Zanon
Close Up Films is an independent production company based in Geneva. Not limited by genre, Close Up chooses to get involved with a wide range of projects including fiction, documentaries and TV series. Aspiring to reach a wide audience with demanding projects – both in form and content – Close Up works with promising new talents and confirmed authors.
Questioning society, confronting ideas and expanding viewpoints : this is what the movies we produce aim for!
Close Up selects projects with international appeal and works regularly with foreign partners.
Kino Produzioni – Giovanni Pompili
Via Giovanni Antonelli, 49, 00197 Roma RM – Italie; RTS (CH) and RAI Cinema (IT)
With Oscar, Roberto and Marco Prestifilippo, Stanley Abhulimen and Blessed Idahosa
Script and dialogues Michele Pennetta, Arthur Brügger, Pietro Passarini
Image Paolo Ferrari
Sound Edgar Iacolenna
Editors Damian Plandolit, Orsola Valenti
Sound editing and mixing Riccardo Studer Calibration Andrea Maguolo