A no-man’s land. A European suburb. A crossroads for stories.
On an autumn day I took a photograph from a bridge in the outskirts of my city. A great river wound through the landscape. With each snap the view revealed something more about itself leaving me feeling that something in it was breathing and pulsating, hidden from the rest of the world.
Dirt roads that become labyrinths, cities, universes. Men moving through the vegetation suspended between land and water.
Angelo, Gerardo and the other farmers, are claiming the lands they have taken and tended for many years as their own.
Roky, Darius and Jasmina live in an informal settlement on the river bank with over 500 other people.
Frida goes looking for heroin in a huge open-air drug market.
And where all city roads end is where Reno has settled after losing his house and his job.
"Angelo, Roky, Frida, Reno, Darius, Gerardo, Jasmina... names of people, who have that in common that they are characters in a film that as location has the outskirts of Torino, where they all live outside normal urban society trying to survive. For a limited time as the area will be turned into a golf and similar kind of recreation centre, as well as it will be object to making transport out of the city easier through new roads etc.
From this description you might expect a political correct activist film like many others – it is not. On the contrary, the focus is the human. Deaglio and his cameramen follow the individuals in their daily activities: Roky gets up, goes to the lake to get washed, goes to get some drinking water... Frida goes to the drug meeting point... Reno cooks and finishes his van Gogh painting. Washing of hair. Repairing a bicycle. Doing nothing.
The images are stunning. Making the area look beautiful. They come as tableaux, chaptering the characters stories which in words are told by themselves through audio on black images. As I don’t understand Italian, for me the words appear subtitled on black with no ”disturbing” images. Which makes the effect very strong – precise small stories of situations they have experienced, facts accompnied by emotions. The director has no intention to sentimentalise or romanticize - I sense an honest, truthful and distant view, and this is why you stay linked to the screen where you also get many interesting and surprising camera angles. In other words – welcome to a non-mainstream documentary film talent".
Tue Steen Müller -Filmkommentaren.dk - 1/8/2010