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Calabria

About this film

Calabria is a road movie in a hearse. After the death of a Calabrian emigrant who came to Switzerland to find work, two undertakers, Jovan and José, emigrants themselves, travel from the north to the south of Italy to repatriate the deceased to his home village. Paying homage to emigrants the world over, CALABRIA represents a philosophical view of the passing of time, and of how urgent it is - given the void of death - for us to make the most of life.

Interview with the Director

I filmed the last will of an Italian worker who came to Switzerland in the 1970s, looking for a better life, and who asked to be buried in his native village. Calabria is a tribute to all those men who left Southern Italy to find work elsewhere. Starting from this historical fact, I have taken a wider perspective to include all the people who leave their home country in search of a better life. I also set forth a philosophical view of the passing of time, of the urgent need to enjoy life in the face of the void that is death.

By focusing on Jovan, a gypsy singer, and José, a Portuguese intellectual, I wanted to break away from the clichés about emigrants. My intention is to show that all the people moving around on Earth are not an anonymous human mass: emigrants are always individuals, each with his or her unique and specific path.

I have chosen a pure and simple form for this road movie, settling upon a precise mise-en-scène. Simple, frontal shots create a direct bond between the leading characters and the audience. I would like viewers to concentrate on observing life unfolding before their eyes, while death - which we often forget, although it is always hovering close by - is ever present in the background. Taking death as its starting point, the film speaks about the surprising richness of life.

I wanted to anchor this film in a cinematographic tradition that believes in the suggestive, evocative power of cinema: a cinema that observes life by offering a personal perspective on reality. The form chosen is intended to stimulate the audience's imagination, inviting viewers to participate in this cinematic experience at a very personal level.