Brotherhood and Legionnaire, Italy wins in Locarno

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LOCARNO, 14 AUG – These are two Italian films, made by filmmakers under 35, the documentary Brotherhood by Francesco Montagner (best film) and The legionary by Hleb Papou (best emerging director), a Belarusian naturalized Italian, which address highly topical issues such as Islamic radicalism and prejudices against second-generation Italians, to win the major prizes in the Filmmakers of the Present section of the 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival.
“I welcomed the news of the award for best film with many tears and a lot of joy – says to ANSA, smiling Montagner, from Veneto, born in 1989, already winner in 2014 with Animated Resistance of the award for best documentary in the Venice Classics section, at the Venice Film Festival del Cinema-. I had a mad rush to return to the Festival (the director lives in Prague where he teaches cinema in one of the most prestigious academies in the world, the Famu), for this reason that it is a film festival and for Italy, seen the award also to Hleb “. in Brotherhood, co-production Czech Republic – Italy (Nutprodukce and Nefertiti Film with Rai Cinema) Montagner followed for four years the lives of three brothers in a family of shepherds, in the Bosnian countryside, Uzeir, about 10, Usama, 12, and Jabir , barely of age, forced to grow up very quickly when the only parent he has left, his father Ibrahim, a radical Islamic preacher, is sentenced to 23 months in prison for terrorism. He had gone to Syria, according to what he claims, not to fight with the jihadists “but to see how things went,” he says. “I thought it was important to bring in a European context a family story, as intimate as this one – adds the filmmaker – which has a very strong impact in the contemporary world because it is very linked to Islamic and religious themes. I wanted to understand what could happen to three boys of this new generation in contact with radicalism and a master father of this type “. Instead Papou, born in 1991, Belarusian, naturalized Italian (“I grew up in Lecco and since after high school I have lived in Rome”), graduated from Dams and graduated from the Experimental Center, started again from his short Il Legionario to develop it in the first work of the same name . The film (produced by Clemart in collaboration with Mact Productions and Rai Cinema, distributed by Fandango) focuses on Daniel (Germano Gentile, former protagonist of the short), an Italian of African origin, who has become a young and trained agent in Rome of the First Mobile Department of Police, torn between the duty and the need to protect his brother Patrick (Maurizio Bousso) and his mother Felicité (Felicité Mbezelé) who still live in the occupied building where he too grew up. “This award gives me a very nice feeling – he comments -. The aim of the film was to show Italy today, going beyond stereotypes. A country that exists but nobody talks about”.
It was filmed “in a real occupied building, the one in Via Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where the Pope’s almsgiver broke the seals that had been unearthed in 2019, an episode that ended up in the newspapers. We did a lot of research and I have even lived for a period in the building, to better investigate the field. We wanted to be as honest as possible, not tell lies and get out of our comfort zone “. The same realistic gaze exists in staging the Mobile Department: “I met several cops, we spent nights listening to their stories”. (HANDLE).

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