Selfie


  • Agostino Ferrente

  • 2019
    • France
  • 77 min
  • Colour
  • PRODUCTION
  • Magnéto Presse, CDV Casa delle Visioni, ARTE France, Rai Cinema

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“It talks about death”, warns Pietro on the threshold of a film and a song that is dedicated to his cousin who died under a policeman’s bullets and which brings tears to his eyes. The film also speaks of death, because “you have to show ugly things and not just beautiful things”. Saying this, Pietro outlines an authentic documentary moral. Because, while he is in the image, he is also the one holding the camera, an ordinary smartphone that Augusto Ferrante has entrusted to him and his friend, Alessandro. Bequeathing the means of filmmaking to one’s characters (here two teenagers from the Neapoli­tan district of Traiano, where the law of crime threatens them as surely as poverty) is not in itself a new gesture. But as the title of the film suggests, its singularity derives from the fact that Pietro and Alessandro film themselves at arm’s length, always in the frame at the same time as the events they show. This selfie aesthetic, which breaks the rules of representation by relegating to the spectator the place left empty by the filmer, lends the portrait a powerfully tragic colouring. Because the sad innocence of these ragazzi with no future, the harrowing sentimentality of their confessions and the naive games that still bathe their disillusioned quotidian constantly place us as witnesses of the disaster that serves as their environment, and which here seems to weigh on their shoulders like a bird of ill omen. 
–Jérôme Momcilovic 

In partnership with ARTE

  • Agostino Ferrente

Born in Cerignola, Italy in 1971, he belongs to the Apollo 11 collective which transformed a historic cinema in Rome into a cultural centre. The Orchestra di Piazza Vittoria, which was founded there, became the subject of one of his documentaries. He also created the Doc/it Award for documentaries at the Venice International Film Festival where the film Le Cose belle, which he co-directed, and which narrates ten years in the life of four young Neopolitans, premiered in 2013.

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