“Drought” arrives in Venice, Virzì represents Italy without taking part in the competition

While it is chock full of international cinema, with 56 countries represented, the Venice Film Festival, on his ninth day, he confirms that he will never forget our home cinema. Waiting for Clear from Susanna Nicchiarellithe last Italian film in competition at the 79th edition, we think a teacher like Paolo Virzì and his new job, Drought, to represent Italy, even without taking part in the official competition. In the not too distant future, in a Rome where it hasn’t rained for three years, Virzì sets a choral story, made up of characters in search of redemption, whose lives intertwine with each other, “a frightened, breathless, afflicted humanity from the dryness of relationships, sick of vanity, mythomania, anger – says the director – which is crumbling and dying of thirst and sleep ».

It opens by instilling a strange and annoying feeling of familiarity on the viewer, Drought, because that having to adapt to live under constant, imminent danger, which threatens survival, is something we have all experienced and are still suffering. Thought during the lockdown, the film is again the result of the artistic partnership, in screenplay, of Virzì with Francesca Archibugi And Francesco Piccolo. “We wondered if the cinema would still be there, if we would meet again, if there would be stories and the actors would still kiss on the screen – recalls Virzì of the pandemic. “We asked ourselves: what will become of us? What future awaits us? How can we tell this feeling without telling it clearly? We had a dream, we had a vision, at the beginning playing with an idea of ​​science fiction film, Rome the day after tomorrow, a very close future, struggling with a climate-health alarm and it could only be a collective story of many destinies. The result was a gallery of characters that we tried to intertwine with a drawing that also contained a little the secret of salvation ». Paolo Virzì then continues in a stream of consciousness: “It is a film, I realize, catastrophic but at the same time it cannot be told without hope and therefore that song by Mina, that plant that is wet is our prayer to be able to save us all together ».

Representing a humanity dominated by heat, a variegated cast made up of old acquaintances of the director such as Silvio Orlando, Valerio Mastandrea, Claudia Pandolfi, Monica Belluccie new like Emanuela Fanelli And Max Tortora. Monica Bellucci steals the show, as ironically and funnyly pointed out by Orlando, forced to arrive with her at the photocall and therefore ignored by photographers: «I have always wanted to work with Virzì, we had worked together in Napoleon and Me – recalls the actress -. If Paul calls, you run. This role is a bit bad for me. On the one hand, these characters seek redemption and she, on the other hand, does not. That’s why I accepted the part. “ All imperfect therefore the components of the mosaic written by the director of The first beautiful Thing, pieces of a puzzle that, instead of being tragedy, is satire, sometimes parody, comedy. Virzì confirms and relaunches: “The human comedy brings with it the feeling of compassion for everyone and in this film even the most guilty, those who have done the most wicked deeds, are forgiven because you feel that they are creatures in trouble in this universe, who go through thirst and are desperate for consolation, relief and love ». There is a taxi driver who was once the driver of a Minister, a bookseller who is now a cashier, an actor who has ended up making videos on social media, a doctor who seems to no longer feel empathy, affection.

New social types of the new Italian comedy are introduced through Diccità: “There is a gallery of characters that tells us about a new Italy and an element that leaps to everyone’s eyes is how social distances are accentuated and how we are heading towards a direction that is no longer that of a happy struggle, of joyful recovery. , but a dull anger that seems to lead to self-destruction ». From this reflection starts Silvio Orlando: «For me it could also be called Sete, that of people to return to a normal life of relationship and which is somewhat denied. Today everything seems to be mediated by something that makes what we do useless. We all become a multitude of individuals, each confronted with adversity and when we are left alone we can only have self-harming practices ». Paolo Virzì he conceived Drought for the darkness of the cinema and declares it openly: “We thought about making this film for big theaters full of people. It was a crazy challenge and we don’t know what the outcome will be. I feel a great desire to turn the page, start over and we hope to see people at the cinema again ».

“Drought” arrives in Venice, Virzì represents Italy without taking part in the competition – Il Riformista