People of Love and Rage

Opened in the early 1980s in the southern suburbs of Rome, “Corviale” is the largest residential building in Europe, hosting some 1,200 apartments and more than 8,000 people within a total length of one kilometer. Corviale is a public housing project inspired by Le Corbusier and the principles of the renaissance “Ideal City”, yet it failed “even before opening” and has always been plagued by intense criminality and lack of social vision.
Resident friends Massimo, a former drug-addict and long-time convict; and Alessandro, an artist, decide to team up and create an association for “handcraft and arts” to provide alternatives to youngsters and unemployed in the area. Their dream must face the limits of the environment, as well as the limits inside themselves, due to their harsh upbringing.

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Director: Stefano Casertano
Director Biography

After a career in multi-media journalism and a Ph.D. in International Politics at Potsdam University, Stefano founded Daring House to produce art-house documentaries. His production “The Ballad of the Homeless” won the LA Short Fest as animated short and has been short-listed for the Oscars. The Ballad also received a Sopecial Prize at Italy’s “Nastri d’Argento” and has been a candidate for the “Davide di Donatello”.
Daring House also serves media outlets in Europe to realize feature and documentary film productions. Clients include Sky Arte (documentary “Artists in Love”) and the three main Italian broadcasters Rai, Mediaset, La7.
He resides in Berlin since 2005.

Filmography of Stefano Casertano

As director:
The Last Days of Tacheles (2013), Germany, 88’
Rome Independent Film Festival – Official Competition
Salento International Film Festival – Official Competition
Berlin Italian Film Festival
Ex-Im Doc Perugia
There Was Once a Sea (2014), Germany/Israel, 86’
Matsalu Nature Film Festival – Official Competition
Warsaw Jewish Film Festival – Official Competition

As producer:
The Ballad of the Homeless (2015) by Monica Manganelli
—selection—
LA SHORTS FEST – Los Angeles International Shorts Film Fest, 3-10 September 2015 – WINNER – OSCAR QUALIFIER
Festival di Cannes, 13-24 May – short film corner
ICFF Festival Toronto, 11-19 June – official selection
BERLIN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, 2-6 July, official selection competition
FESTIVAL ANIMATOR Poznan, International Animated Film 14-17 July- official final competion
Festival du Film d’Animation de Paris – 9-13 September 2015
FIA International Animation festival, Montevideo 10-12 September 2015
Libelula Animation Festival, Barcelona, 20-25 September
Festival International du Film d’Animation les Nuits Magique, Bourdeaux, 2-13 December 2015
Irvine International Film Festival, 15-21 January 2015
Japan Media Arts Festival , Tokio November 2015

Director Statement

I have been working for some years on a photographic project about the peripheries of European capitals, following the idea that these areas tell the “soul” of a city better than gentrified city centers. After Stockholm, Berlin, London and Paris, it was the turn of Rome. I decided to start with the infamous building of Corviale, an architectonic Moloch in the southern suburbs of Rome.
I knew Corviale from far away, since I grew up not far away from it. When I was 5 or 6, my dad would point at it from the distance (“Corviale” stands on a hill) inviting me to “look at that monster!”. Corviale had been occupied even before officially opening, and it soon became a synonymous for criminality, drug dealing, junkies and desperation.
As I was walking around it for the first time (with an expensive camera in my hands) I was soon stopped by some old man who asked me what I was doing. He suspected I belonged to the city administration and that I was taking pictures of some squatted spaces. It was revealed that the man was eventually one of the most powerful figures in the area, unofficially managing the public market, some 200 apartments and a “private credit system”. I befriended him and he introduced me to the “Corviale world”.
I met the two main characters the same day, introduced by the old man. Alessandro and Massimo are two people at the antipodes. Alessandro is Ying: a learned and skilled artist, meditative and thoughtful. Massimo is Yang: a former inmate and drug addict (“seven long years of heroine”), with anger management problems. They decide to team up and set up an association for arts and handcraft, to teach youngsters and organize events.
I decided that I had a movie after ten minutes talking with them. More than pictures, I realized how these two friends represented the truest “Roman culture” surviving only in the suburbs. Such culture had been at the center of many neorealist movies – see Vittorio De Sica’s “Ladri di Biciclette” or the early Pasolini movies “Accattone” and “Mamma Roma” (by the way: Accattone is the favorite movie of protagonist Massimo, who reportedly cries when he watches it).
Those people living in the center of Rome, depicted by those masters, in the 1970s-80s were compelled to move into the new buildings (like Corviale). This forceful change destroyed social systems and led to a long time of desperation.
“People of Love and Rage” is therefore first an exploration of this resurging society. The generation of the 30-40-something is the first to be born in these new suburbs. Many were lost along the way, and some survived the harsh years and are trying now to build something. In other words, this movie tries to answer the question of “where do Accattone’s friends live now?”
It is a story of redemption: a personal, public and outright religious one. People scream blasphemies, then constantly call for the help of God and even for the protection of a priest. It is a men’s society, where virtually everybody has served some years in prison, and there is no single person without a tattoo.
Yet, it is not a story of violence, as the usual cliché about these areas would tell. Violence is subtle and implied, present and never shown. People intend violence as the measure of every decision. Overcoming it means overcoming a strong mental structure that forces them into ghettos like Corviale – as the movie shows.
The result is a movie where instead of non-professional actors there is real people impersonating themselves. All the events in the movie are real, blurring the burden between reality and fiction.

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