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Online Premiere: Terra

Various human types meet on a night ferry's regular trip.

20 – 25 | 2011 | Drama | Human Nature | Italy | Live-Action

A regular night on a ferry headed to Sicily. It’s presumably Winter, one of those off-season trips in which there are very few people on board. We follow a middle-aged man who embarked on its own, and wanders through the ship. We observe the other few passengers ‘by his side’. He encounters various human types (a tired waitress, a volunteer soldier, a strange guy wearing a bizarre bear costume).  Only through his interactions with the others we will discover something about our protagonist. He has two children, he presumably studied chemistry or maybe medicine ( his knowledge of the chemical compounds of drinks and other things is a recurring topic). A deep sadness afflicts him , but we do not know what caused it: the unspoken leaves the task of filling in the dots to the audience, asked to imagine the history of this lonely man.

An atmospheric film, a narrative one, yet far from the didactic obsession to say too much often found in italian films. There’s some blank moments here and there, because life is full of them, and ‘Terra’ is nothing more than a slice of life of an everyman. The long silences and almost empty spaces of this floating city, wrapped in a dark night, are striking. Interesting and noteworthy is the humanity that permeates the characters – they’re not caricatures, but three-dimensional beings.

Terra is Piero Messina’s graduation short film from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, and was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival Cinéfondation in 2012. We have already featured the director’s following work, Newton’s First Law.

You can read our interview with the director here.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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