One day Mohsen, on the seaside of Tunisia, looking for some materials for his beach sculptures, finds a human body. Without questioning it, he decides to give to the unknown corpse a worthy burial, causing controversy in his community and invoking the rage of Ben Ali's supporters.
One day, on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, in Lampedusa, Vincenzo, arrives at the same epiphany and he takes the same decision raising ferocious critiques from the Catholic community of the island.
A few months later, Vincenzo will receive a letter written in French from Mohsen who heard about him in Zarzis and chose, like him, to give a worthy burial to nameless corpses delivered from the Sea after the Arabian Spring.
BANKS is the story of the friendships and the deep relationship that arise between this two men.
Mohsen and Vincenzo's actions shed light on a deeper humanity that emerges when facing the obscene. They remind us of the perpetual fight of man for dignity, despite the marginalisation illustrated by the negative reactions of their communities.

Through this simple and touching tale of an epistolary friendship I would like to speak about two different banks, two different universes in time and space. Listening and studying the two communities with their different traditions, languages, religions, habits, I would like to collect idiosyncrasies that portray a modern anthropology. The post-Berlusconian Sicily, almost as a moon land covered by rubble, stray dogs, intrusive tourists, noisy quads and children who lost their innocence, seems like a world of – cultural and material - poverty, a world that is afraid of memory and runs away from it, suffocated by the cruel mechanisms of community. Tunisia, in his fundamental transition after the Revolution, lives in between echoes of its History, between the memory museum built by Mohsen – to remember who leaved – and an independent radio station that collects chippings of present and past to re-donate voice to a nation after the dictatorship.

Irene Dionisio

Director of photography
Film Editor
Alessandro Zorio
Original Music
Gabriele Concas, Matteo Marini
Manolis Makridakis (Fonico), Simon Apostolou (Sound design)
Francesca Cirilli, Irene Dionisio. Gaetano Cianci (Riprese subacquee), Davide D'Amico (Assistente operatore).
Altri credits
Eric Solleron (Color correction). Francesca Comisso, Lisa Parola, Daniela Persico (Supervisione artistica). Andrea Inzerillo, Safa Neji (Ricerche d'archivio). Wallid Fellah, Nordin Gantri, Amine Messadi (mediazione culturale), Nuria Gatti (amministrazione), Emanuele Segre (animazione titoli), Fabio Consoli (grafica)
Cast and characters
Mohsen Lidhabi, Vincenzo Lombardo
Production Director
Luisa Perlo
Organizzatore generale
Ilaria Malagutti
Executive production
Ilaria Malagutti
Ilaria Malagutti, Luisa Perlo, Davy Chou, Sylvain Decouvelaere
Mammut Film / a.titolo / Vicky Films (France)
in collaborazione con Rai Cinema. in coproduzione con France Télévisions, France 3 Corse Via Stella. con il sostegno della Film Commission Torino Piemonte e della Regione Piemonte (Piemonte Doc Film Fund - Fondo regionale per il documentario - sviluppo dicembre 2012 under 30 2012/2013 - produzione dicembre 2013). CNC Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée, Sicilia Film Commission – Regione Siciliana Assessorato Turismo Sport e Spettacolo.
Assistente alla regia
Marta Bellingreri
Assistente di produzione
Giacomo Mercurio
Festival - markets - events

1 Marzo 2016, Cinema Astra Modena, Rassegna Astradoc Modena, ore 21.00
17-25 Marzo 2016, Sguardi Altrove Film Festival, Milano
22 e 26 Marzo 2016, Casa del Cinema, Roma Italia Doc a cura di Maurizio Di Rienzo, Roma, ore 18.00, ore 21.00
7-12 Maggio 2016, 13th Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival 2016, Gottingen, Svezia
9-10 Maggio 2016, Cinetica, Cinema Baretti, Torino
Cinetica Review – Cinema Baretti – Turin, Italy – 24 October 2016
Competion OFFCINEMA- Centrum Kultury ZAMEK – Poland -16-11 November 2016
Competion CINEMA VERITE’ – Teheran – Iran 4-11 December 2016

Premio Solinas Documentario per il Cinema 2012
Selezionato nel workshop "Nutrimenti terrestri, nutrimenti celesti” Filmmaker Milano 2013
Borsa SCAM Brouillon d’un rêve filmique
Partecipazione a: Doc at Work – Festival dei Popoli Firenze; Hot Docs 2014; Italian Doc Screening 2014
Isreal 2016 - Festival di Cinema del Reale di Nuoro, secondo premio.
Premio della Giuria al Cine Verité in Iran 2016
Premio Cariddi Taormina 2016
Premio solinas 2012
Prix Scam (Fr) 2014
Secondo Premio della Giuria al festival Isreal 2016
Menzione Speciale allo Sciacca Film Festival 2016

Luisa Perlo (a.titolo)
Last update: 28 December 2016